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SA targeting 2,000 quarantine sites with 130,000 beds

Some may pay up to R1,200 to be quarantined

29 May 2020 - 20:03 By ZINGISA MVUMVU
Patricia de Lille. File photo.
Patricia de Lille. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images

The department of public works and infrastructure has identified 1,751 quarantine facilities across the country.

Of these quarantine sites, 642 are state-sponsored while the rest are privately owned with a combined 129, 600 beds.

A lion’s share of the beds (27,500) are reserved for the Western Cape, which is currently the country’s Covid-19 epicentre.

But for those who wish to be quarantined in the private sites, it comes at a cost of R1,200 per day.

This was announced by minister Patricia De Lille on Friday.

De Lille said as at Thursday, only 66 privately-owned quarantine sites were fully functional with 9,000 beds.

This while government had 72 fully-functional quarantine centres with 3,600 beds.

De Lille could not say how many of these beds were occupied and how many were not as the number fluctuated as and when people were discharged on a daily basis.

“The rate in the private sector that were negotiated by National Treasury ranges between R650 to R1, 200 per bed per night,” said De Lille.

“In the public quarantine sites the cost is borne by government and provincial department providing beds, food and any other assistance.

“These public sites are being managed by government and with these numbers we can assure South Africans as the department we have enough quarantine facilities available as the need arises”

De Lille said her department was hard at work setting up field hospitals and renovating dilapidated ones, particularly in the rural provinces.

In the Eastern Cape which is notorious for a disastrous public health care system, 32 hospitals had been identified for refurbishment while 19 hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal were being renovated.

On field hospitals, De Lille said 10 were in Mpumalanga while the Cape Town International Convention Centre had been converted into a field hospital site.

In the North West, field hospitals were being built within the premises of the existing hospitals while Free State, Limpopo and Northern Cape had zero field hospitals.

“We are committed to continue our task and do all that we can to keep South Africans safe and curb the spread of the coronavirus,” said De Lille.