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SA plans to turn 4 soccer stadiums into field hospitals

PREPARED: The South African government says its actions are in preparation for a spike in infections after winter. PICTURE BY Twitter

A worst case scenario is expected in the country after winter, where hospitals are expected to flood with cases of the virus.

The South African government is reportedly planning to turn 4 of the 2010 World Cup stadiums into field hospitals.

The Sunday Independent quoted a source within the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) who said they have now identified four venues to treat a possible large number of patients after the winter.

The official told the national weekly that they were working on establishing 55 venues across the country – part of the 4 currently identified being FNB Stadium in Johannesburg and Moses Mabhida in Durban.

ALSO SEE: Mpumalanga municipalities urged to prepare more grave sites

The paper saw the state’s Summary of Operation Notlela V1 document – drafted by the SANDF for a R48.5 million budget to operate the four field hospital venues to fight the SARS-COV-2 disease that has infected millions and killed thousands worldwide.

Officials believe the worst is still to hit South Africa come end of winter.

SANDF spokesman Colonel Louis Kirstein told the paper that their job is to save lives.

“Nothing new or out of the ordinary in the setting up of field hospitals and other temporary health facilities throughout the country during this period,” Kirstein said.

“Field hospitals have been part of the plan to augment health facilities and quarantine sites as the spread of the virus continues to rise,” he said, adding the identified sites for field hospitals are not only stadiums and other sites too have been identified across the country to respond to the fight against the virus. 

In Mpumalanga, co-operative governance MEC Mandla Msibi urged municipalities to prepare grave sites for possible mass deaths due to Covid-19. He said they would have to “tell our people the truth” and the infections would mainly be the result of people not adhering to Covid-19 regulations – the social distancing, washing of hands and wearing masks.

“We are anticipating a worse situation, but we are still appealing to our people to adhere to the regulations,“ Msibi said.

Three weeks ago, President Cyril Ramaphosa warned the country that “the worst is still coming”.

“The important thing is that we need to show that we lessen the pace at which these infections take place”.

(edited by ZK)

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