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Ramaphosa urges WC to provide more hospital beds for COVID-19 peak

Projections on how COVID-19 would likely play out in the Western Cape estimated that around 7,800 hospital beds would be needed at the peak of the pandemic.

President Cyril Ramaphosa spent the day in the Western Cape to assess the provincial response to the COVID-19 pandemic.The province is the country's COVID-19 epicentre. Picture: Presidency/TWitter

CAPE TOWN – President Cyril Ramaphosa urged the Western Cape to prioritise hospital bed spaces ahead of the peak in COVID-19 infections.

Projections on how COVID-19 would likely play out in the Western Cape estimated that around 7,800 hospital beds would be needed at the peak of the pandemic.

The province has therefore made available several field hospitals and isolation and quarantine facilities.

One such temporary hospital is at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), which officially came online on Friday, with a bed capacity of 862 beds.

Ramaphosa urged the province to rather over provide bed spaces.

“I still think that faced with the challenge that we are faced with – of the greater infections - you will need, and you do need more beds. We must increase the number of beds. I am not satisfied and happy with the limit of beds that you think you are going to have.”

The president said he was aware of testing backlog but has urged authorities to continue to scale it up.

“We now need to be able to procure testing kits through this platform that we will be launching in a few days, for the entire continent – where we will have up to 60 million kits, for starters, for the entire continent and close 30 million test kits made available every month.”

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