South Africa opens first Covid-19 field hospital

indafrica June 24, 2020
Updated 2020/06/24 at 6:13 AM

CAPE TOWN – A COVID-19 field hospital has officially been opened in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday.

The facility has been built by Volkswagen and is funded by the German government.

Once the next two phases are completed and the facility is fully operational, the Reverend Doctor Elizabeth Mamisa Chabula-Nxiweni Field Hospital will be able to accommodate up 3,300 patients.

This will include high acuity patients who require oxygenation.
The Eastern Cape Health Department and the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality will be responsible for its daily operations and management.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said: “Many people doubted that we could build a field hospital in a matter of weeks. We have seen this in China, but we have also seen how, in the process of our own collaboration, nothing can ever stop us from achieving whatever is necessary to save lives.”

Volkswagen South Africa’s Thomas Schaefer said the company had secured over a R100 million in grant funding to convert a section of its 66,000 square metre factory in Nelson Mandela Bay to a temporary overflow medical facility.

“The number of confirmed cases in our province are on an upward trajectory, which is unsettling and deeply concerns us all. Each of us knows of a person who has tested positive and or have died of COVID-19 related illnesses. Such a personal experience makes one realise that we are fighting an invisible enemy that demands us to show compassion and solidarity.”

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