Private hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal have agreed to avail their wards and beds free of charge to treat and manage patients in the event of a large-scale coronavirus outbreak in the province.

According to the latest figures from the Department of Health, there are currently 240 confirmed cases in the country of which 27 are in KwaZulu-Natal.

Private hospital groups that have partnered with the provincial Department of Health include Mediclinic, Netcare, Busamed, Daymed and Akeso.

Health MEC, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu has applauded the move.

“I really appreciate the spirit that those are running private facilities evidenced in our meeting. We are then going to have side engagements in relation to the human resource and the equipment in other areas that will need to be provided because some of the facilities are empty at this point and have not been equipped. So, we are going to have discussions on how those will be equipped. But should they be equipped by the Department of Health, the equipment still belongs to the department and at the end of this pandemic that we are faced, we will then we have to return it to the facilities of the department.”

In this video, SABC News reports that confirmed coronavirus case in SA rise to 240: