Premier Alan Winde together with Transport and Public Works Minister Bonginkosi Madikizela today received a donation of a fully refurbished isolation site from Old Mutual.
Old Mutual has turned the former Training Centre and Club House, located at the MuPine Golf Club into a 300 bed facility for use by the Western Cape Government. The upgrade and conversion cost R4 million and forms part of Old Mutual’s R52 million contribution to the COVID-19 crisis response initiatives.
The Western Cape currently has 19 Quarantine and Isolation facilities available, offering 2365 beds. Additional 9 facilities are being activated which will yield an additional 2292 beds.
As of 25 May, 325 citizens are in designated isolation facilities in the province - 282 in the Cape Metro and 43 in Rural areas. 137 others are in quarantine facilities - 34 citizens are in the Cape Metro and 103 others in Rural Districts.
Since the start of the epidemic, several models have been created to forecast the impact of COVID-19 on the health of our people and to give an indication as to the overall need for Quarantine and Isolation facilities. As the pandemic unfolds, the need for quarantine and isolation increases rapidly and run into the thousands.
Responding to the anticipated need places an enormous strain on the resources of the state and it is clear that within our existing fiscal constrained environment it would be impossible to cater for the full demand. It is within this context, that a more nuanced and targeted approach is called for, including one where we are shifting our focus in certain areas where the application of Q&I becomes less effective, to the protection of the most vulnerable, being those older and those with underlying comorbidities.
As the President stated in his address to the nation on 24 May 2020, the aim of the suppression strategy was not to eradicate the virus, but to spread the infection out over a period of time and as such protect our healthcare system from being overrun, the so-called flattening the curve strategy. The public sector provision of Q&I has been intrinsically linked to the suppression strategy and is equally informed by and sensitive to the socio-economic realities of our country, where self-isolation and quarantine in informal dwelling settings for many could prove challenging.
While the country moves to level 3 lockdown by the 1st of June, the suppression strategy remains valid, especially in those areas where we can still curtain the spread of the virus.
Premier Winde said: “Quarantine and isolation facilities are key in helping to slow the spread of the virus, giving people who may not have the space to do so at home, the space to recover safely without the risk of infecting their families or those living in close proximity. Isolation and quarantine facilities are also an important aspect in the implementation of our hotspot strategy and our focus on protecting the most vulnerable. This facility provides comfortable accommodation for up to 300 people, including families, and I would like to thank Old Mutual for making the space available and for being among the many businesses, NGOs and individuals who have stepped up to offer their assistance in response to this pandemic.”
Minister Madikizela said: “Our strategy has been to activate a facilities as the infection spreads and to respond in a geographic context. In this regard we have either activated or are in the process of activating over 3500 beds across the various districts of the Province with several thousand more in the pipeline. One of our main concerns is the City of Cape Town Metro. It is within this context that we are immensely grateful to the contributions put forward by the private sector to assist the state in dealing with the challenges ahead.”
“The 300 beds being brought online through the donation by Old Mutual of this facility will make a significant contribution towards our overall capacity to provide quarantine and isolation services.
The donation is testimony to the fact that we are in this fight together – that ultimately this is not a battle to be won by the state or by the private sector, but indeed one that calls on all of us to contribute whether it is the government, private business, NGOs and ultimately each and every citizen of our country,” said Minister Madikizela.