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Public Works Dept identifies 52 sites as COVID-19 quarantine facilities

The department said the properties, which are a combination of government and private-sector facilities, could accommodate over 16,000 patients so far.

FILE: Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure Patricia De Lille in Parliament on 10 July 2019. Picture: @DepPublicWorks/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The Public Works and Infrastructure Department on Thursday said it had identified at least 52 sites to be used as quarantine facilities for COVID-19 patients.

The department said the properties, which were a combination of government and private-sector facilities, could accommodate over 16,000 patients so far.

Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille said some of the sites identified under state-ownership were offices, houses, and multipurpose centres.

The private sector had also moved in to help fight the coronavirus pandemic by offering hotels, holiday homes, and hospitals for use as quarantine sites.

“The next step is that the Department of Health has got a special team that goes around the country and inspects the sites to make sure that they are suitable and then they confirm to Public Works that they will be using the site. Once the site is handed over to the Department of Health, they then take responsibility,” De Lille said.

De Lille said the department planned to secure more potential quarantine locations as a precautionary measure.

“If we must have a case, which is a local transmission in one of our informal settlements and that person must be put into quarantine, these facilities will be of great help,” she said.

To track the latest developments around the coronavirus both in South Africa and abroad, click on this live status report from Strategix.

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