There will be no field hospital built at stadia to accommodate COVID-19 patients in Limpopo, in anticipation of a surge in coronavirus infections.
Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba says the department is instead increasing capacity at existing hospitals, using available land.
Ramathuba says this is much more affordable and sustainable, in light of available funds and resources.
“The beds are ready at all our hospital facilities. We are not going to build any field hospital in a stadium which after COVID-19 we will not be able to utilise. We have agreed with Treasury with the resources they have given us, we are expanding our capacity in the existing hospitals that are currently there because maybe because we are a rural province, our hospitals have got enough land and enough space. So we just need to expand within the existing infrastructure, which is quite cheaper and also quite sustainable because we are a resourceful strained province.”
Bloemfontein showgrounds to soon be turned into field hospital
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 a little bit worried. I’m sure everybody can see what is happening in the 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.” -Additional reporting by Ismael Modiba.
In the video below, the Free State says it is preparing to turn the Bloemfontein Showgrounds into a major COVID-19 field hospital: