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Durban Exhibition Centre prepared as field hospital
‚ÄčTHE Durban Exhibition Centre may be used as a field hospital following the tabling of a report at an Executive Committee meeting held online on 26 May.

The tabled report stated that there is a need to plan for the spread of the coronavirus including the corresponding need for additional hospital beds. It stated that health authorities have reviewed the current bed capacity and have concluded that the availability may become insufficient should the crisis develop on a scale as seen in Europe and the United States over the past few months.

While health authorities have already commissioned the phased recruitment of additional public and
private hospitals to deal with the Covid-19 anticipated surge, the authorities have further concluded that there is a need to have a temporary field hospital, which will serve as a solution to provide additional beds to cater for surge capacity to assist and cope with the Covid-19 crisis.

Field hospitals will serve to isolate patients with mild to moderate Covid-19 infections from their families and communities. The field hospital will also provide ICU facilities. The report stated that the Department of Health concluded after investigating possible locations, that the Durban Exhibition Centre is best positioned to serve that purpose.

This is because it will require less building work and it can accommodate several beds. The report notes that the Department of Health has committed to restoring the facility to its original condition at the end of the period as well as to undertake deep cleaning including sanitising.

charmel.payet@durban.gov.za

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