Cape Town convention centre to be 800-bed Covid-19 hospital

29 April 2020 - 13:51 By TimesLIVE
Cape Town International Convention Centre is being converted into a temporary Covid-19 hospital.
Cape Town International Convention Centre is being converted into a temporary Covid-19 hospital.
Image: cticc via Google

Cape Town International Convention Centre is being converted into a temporary Covid-19 hospital with room for 800 patients.

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde said on Wednesday the hospital would make up most of the province's predicted 1,000-bed shortfall at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The rest of the shortfall would be made up with temporary beds in other facilities, “in appropriate geographic locations”, said Winde.

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Cape Town has emerged as the epicentre of the country's Covid-19 outbreak, with 85% of the Western Cape's confirmed 1,778 cases.

Winde said while the CTICC had been a key part of the Western Cape economy, “its use as a hospital to care for hundreds of ill people during this global pandemic is its most significant contribution to our region yet”.

He said CTICC1 - the original part of the convention centre - would be made available rent-free until September 7, with an option to extend until the end of the year.

“The temporary infrastructure build, operating and catering costs for the initial hire period will total approximately R47m,” Winde said.

“This amount excludes the costs that the department of health will incur in providing clinical equipment, oxygen, medication and temporary staff for the temporary hospital.

“The intermediate-care beds will cater for patients presenting with milder clinical signs who need hospitalisation and treatment, including administration of oxygen.

“The CTICC will not provide for care for patients with more severe clinical signs, which will require intensive care treatment.”

The temporary hospital would be ready by the first week of June, said Winde, “well before the expected peak [in September] when these beds will be required”.

The layout of services at the site - including beds, showers, nursing stations, support stations, physiotherapy stations and bulk oxygen storage tank spaces - had already been prepared.

CTICC CEO Taubie Motlhabane said: “During these extraordinary times, we welcome the opportunity for the CTICC to be part of the solution. We are proud to be part of the team.”

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