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'Cost no issue' as Ramaphosa promises to solve WC's COVID-19 staffing shortages

The Western Cape accounts for more than 66% of the nation's COVID cases and more than 76% of associated deaths.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, flanked by Western Cape Premier Alan Winde (left) and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize (right), addresses officials during his inspection of the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) coronavirus field hospital on 5 June 2020. Picture: @alanwinde/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - President Cyril Ramaphosa has assured the Western Cape that it will get what it needs to deal with the ever-rising COVID-19 infection rate.

The president is visiting Cape Town to assess the state of readiness in the province ahead of the peak in infections.

The Western Cape accounts for more than 66% of the nation's COVID cases and more than 76% of associated deaths.

Health authorities managing the response in the nation's COVID-19 epicentre briefed President Ramaphosa after a tour of several facilities.

They flagged staff shortages as one of the key challenges they faced, something the president said must be addressed urgently.

"We are fighting a life and death war and staffing challenges must be solved."

The president said that every effort must be made to identify and headhunt the staff necessary.

"Cost is not the issue here."

And he's promised to rope in his ministers to ensure that all potential pools of talent and skills can be tapped.

"The Department of Defence and Military Veterans are ready to bring in defence personnel who will be able to come to this province immediately to come and lend a hand."

The president met with several provincial authorities as they toured the newly commissioned field hospital at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), the largest of its kind in the country.

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.