KZN looks to game reserves for Covid-19 quarantine beds

KZN game reserves could be used to provide health care facilities for Covid-19 patients.
KZN game reserves could be used to provide health care facilities for Covid-19 patients.
Image: 123rf/Kasper Nymann

KwaZulu-Natal game reserves could be used to house the province’s Covid-19 patients, premier Sihle Zikalala said on Sunday.

In a statement, Zikalala said that the province was talking to provincial wildlife authority KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife about the use of their lodges should extra quarantine facilities be needed.

“These facilities can be made available within 48 hours on receipt of an official order,” said Zikalala.

He said that other privately-owned facilities had been offered, “subject to access demand over and above the [health] department’s internal bed capacity”.

“The province is in the process of establishing more temporary beds in lodges, resorts and hotels for activation for use as quarantine facilities based on demand. Some of these beds will be erected within the premises of the existing hospitals and a few, like the Royal Showgrounds beds, will be outside the hospital premises,” he said.

Currently, he said, there were 2,141 quarantine beds, 3,430 isolation beds, 66 high care beds and 143 ICU beds available in the province.

“This gives us a minimum of 5,780 beds and we are, in line with the President’s [Cyril Ramaphosa] call, informed by the current and future need, increasing these numbers even more,” he said.

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

X