Nasrec field hospital to remain open as Gauteng health department closes 3 quarantine sites

20 October 2020 - 13:12
Medical officials attend to Covid-19 patients at the Nasrec quarantine and isolation site. The Gauteng health department said the site will remain open until 2021.
Medical officials attend to Covid-19 patients at the Nasrec quarantine and isolation site. The Gauteng health department said the site will remain open until 2021.
Image: GALLO IMAGES/DINO LLOYD

The Gauteng health department says the Nasrec field hospital will remain open until January, as it closes the other three quarantine/isolation sites.

Gauteng department of health spokesperson Kwara Kekana said Nasrec will not close because the threat of Covid-19 infections has not completely reduced in the province at the moment.

“Due to low demand for services in these facilities, and the need to make use of the venues by the owners, Telkom and Transnet sites were closed in August and September respectively, while the Eskom site is expected to be closed by the end of November,” she said.

“Nasrec will only close after January 2021, which is a key milestone post the festive season. The department will be monitoring the festive season period closely as it relates to Covid-19 infections.”

The Nasrec facility was one of four facilities that were contracted by the provincial government to be used for isolation and quarantine of Covid-19 positive patients in the province. The other sites were Telkom in Olifantsfontein, Transnet in Esselen Park and Eskom in Midrand.

Gauteng acting health MEC Jacob Mamabolo said the province was cautious about reducing beds.

“The projected peak was not realised by end of September 2020 as per initial projections. The threat of the second wave of infections still remains, according to the World Health Organisation,” he said.

“The province is cautious in its decisions to start reducing the number of beds outside hospital environments without consideration of underlying threats of a second wave, which is evidently being realised in other countries.”

Mamabolo expressed gratitude to state-owned enterprises for their support and for opening their doors to the public as the country faced the worst pandemic in centuries.

“On behalf of the Gauteng provincial government, I would like to express our sincerest appreciation for the support and facilities that were provided by Telkom, Transnet and Eskom in response to the call for strengthening capacity and efforts towards managing Covid-19. We are truly grateful,” he said.

Kekana said five patients have been admitted so far in October and 21 patients were treated in September at the Nasrec facility.

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