The Eastern Cape Health Department is working around the clock to contain the reported cases of coronavirus in the province. The aim is to ensure the virus does not drain the provincial health system.

The department is in a process of making additional 2 000 beds available to deal with COVID-19 patients.

The province had set aside 2500 ordinary beds for the coronavirus patients during the outbreak of coronavirus in the country. However, with the country on lockdown for 21 days, there is an influx of people flocked to the province, especially in rural areas.


The Head of Provincial Health Department, Dr Thobile Mbengashe says the influx might overwhelm the provincial health system.

“The ordinary bed that we have and services should still have to cope with ordinary people that we have and this is particularly important that everyone who becomes ill must have the same chance of being treated like anyone else. And two, when people are very ill, they need to be provided with all the support they need to make them survive the infection.”

In the video below, President Cyril Ramaphosa announces the government’s measures to deal with the spread of coronavirus: 

Dr Mbengashe says special services centres have been set up, to ensure those who have gone for tests adhere to safety measures.

“We are also looking at what we call high-volume triage facilities. These high-volume triage services, they are going to make sure people that come to these centres, they are not grouped together and get further infection. We are allowing them to move very quickly with a well-designed service and they are able to go in get tested and go home.”

Twenty hospitals across the province have been prioritised for COVID-19.

Frontline staff members, at health institutions that conduct tests, will also be provided with protective clothing. – Author- Mcebisi Ngqina