Bloemfontein Showgrounds facilities, which used to host events throughout the year, will soon be turned into a temporary hospital as the country expects a surge in COVID-19 cases.
This will be done to alleviate the shortage of hospital beds.
A R55-million hospital which is set to consist of 4 000 beds is under construction at the showgrounds.
Free State Premier Sisi Ntombela says the province is preparing for the worst-case scenario.
Ntombela says the province will also assist other provinces where there is an overflow.
“We are little bit worried, I’m sure everybody can see what is happening in Eastern Cape and what is happening in Gauteng. So, we are now gearing up to say if anything can happen we must have enough beds. We are also making sure that even here at home if we have any problems, we must have enough beds.”
More staff recruitment
Health MEC Montsheng Tsiu says more staff outside of doctors and nurses will be recruited.
Tsiu says this will include unemployed undergraduates and those who have passed matric.
Dr Jeremy ‘O Kennedy of the Free State Health Command Centre says the new temporary facility will be fully equipped.
“The idea with this facility is that we can get treatment to patients who need it in specific categorized. The expected burden is that many patients will need different levels of oxygen. So, we know from experience from the Western Cape and the rest of the world that high flow pressurized oxygen is extremely important if we can prevent the patient from ever needing intervention and ventilation we have done our job.”
Ultimately, the Free State plans to have 7 000 fully equipped beds for COVID-19.
The tweet below shows current statistics of COVID-19 in the Free State:
FREE STATE #COVID__19 UPDATE: There’s 2 803 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Free State with 565 recoveries and 19 deaths. The province has screened a whooping
3 193 938 people and conducted screenings conducted 101 158 tests through the NHLS. #StaySafe pic.twitter.com/eOJGAe0Usm
— Free State Health (@fs_health) July 7, 2020
In the video below, the Free State says it is preparing to turn the Bloemfontein Showgrounds into a major COVID-19 field hospital: