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WC looks to ramp up ventilators, ICU spaces ahead of expected virus spread

In the Western Cape, around 850 ICU beds in the private and public sector will be available for COVID-19 patients, but Premier Alan Winde has repeatedly said there won't be enough ICU beds at the peak.

Image: 123rf

CAPE TOWN - The availability of ventilators and intensive care unit (ICU) space is top of mind for health authorities as models predict peak infections to hit anywhere between early July and mid-August.

In the Western Cape, around 850 ICU beds in the private and public sector will be available for COVID-19 patients, but Premier Alan Winde has repeatedly said there won't be enough ICU beds at the peak.

He and his provincial head of health, Keith Cloete, said it was important to look at hospital capacity holistically.

Cloete said they were making progress in terms of kitting out temporary field hospitals that would provide an additional 1,428 immediate care beds.

He said places like the Cape Town International Convention Centre would have 850 beds, while Brackengate on the R300 would have 330 beds.

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