This is the first, exclusive view of hospital beds arriving at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) – for a new emergency field hospital.
On Cape Town’s Heerengracht Street on Monday, long strings of new hospital beds were seen being wheeled into the CTICC.
The cavernous centre’s exhibition halls have been transformed into vast hospital wards, where the beds were being wheeled into place. Between the wards, stations for doctors and nurses have been built.
Once complete, the CTICC field hospital will hold around 850 beds, representing roughly the same size as other major hospitals.
The exhibition halls have been divided up into different sections, with dry walling. Electricity is supplied to each hospital bed, as is oxygen to many beds.
Other parts of the ICC have been converted into toilet and shower areas, as well as other support functions.
Outside the centre, large marquees have been erected.
On Monday, a range of contractors could be seen hard at work continuing to prepare the site.
Approached for comment, Premier Alan Winde on Monday said the CTICC is South Africa’s largest space conversion during the Covid-19 crisis.
Winde told News24: “This is one of the bigger projects in enabling our health system to cope, the creation of an extra 850-bed intermediate care hospital, and that is the conversion of the CTICC into this hospital.”
Winde said the conversion began in May, and would probably be completed within a fortnight. The first ward was already complete. The CTICC’s 850 beds would contribute to a total of 1 400 extra beds across the province.
The CTICC was part of “a much bigger intervention”, including another massive field hospital in Khayelitsha, another in a warehouse along the R300, and the conversion of an existing health facility in the Cape Winelands into a dedicated Covid-19 hospital.
Winde said these new hospitals were in addition to new “temporary testing and triage centres”, 18 of which had been established across the province.
“We have also procured thousands of beds for our ‘quarantine and isolation – our Q&I’,” Winde explained.
These were both in the City of Cape Town and further afield in the province.