CTICC to become COVID-19 hospital when virus peaks in WC

The provincial cabinet on Wednesday agreed to use the venue to accommodate 800 hospital beds.

The Cape Town International Convention Centre. Picture: CTICC Facebook page.

CAPE TOWN - The Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) will become a COVID-19 hospital when the pandemic peaks in the Western Cape.

The provincial cabinet on Wednesday agreed to use the venue to accommodate 800 hospital beds.

The province has forecast 80,000 infections at the peak and was facing a shortage of a 1,000 non-ICU beds.

The convention centre is accustomed to hosting big events like the World Economic Forum and the International Jazz Festival.

Now it may get the chance to provide healthcare.

As a hospital, it will offer beds, showers, nursing stations, support stations and space for bulk oxygen storage tanks.

Premier Alan Winde said the CTICC would not accommodate patients who required intensive care.

However, it will be able to cater for those with milder symptoms who need hospitalisation and treatment such as the administration of oxygen.

Winde said the site would be ready by the first week of June, just before the expected peak.

The CTICC has waived venue hire fees, so the infrastructure, operating and catering costs for the initial period is about R47 million, which excludes Health Department expenses.