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Gauteng will keep one Covid-19 quarantine centre open as festive season approaches

Gauteng Covid-19 quarantine centres close
Written by Marcia Zali

As the Covid-19 daily infection rate lowers, Gauteng is closing its field hospitals. Nasrec will remain open until January next year as authorities consider the possibility of a second wave over the festive season.

The Nasrec field hospital is the only quarantine site that will remain open until next year in Gauteng, says the provincial health department. The decision comes as facilities in the province see fewer patients as the rate of Covid-19 infections decrease.

The department says it will keep the Nasrec centre, south of Johannesburg, open because to the “threat of Covid-19 infections has not been completely reduced.” Acting MEC for Health Jacob Mamabolo says the province is making the decision cautiously, considering the “underlying threats of a second wave which is evidently being realised in other countries.”

“Nasrec will only close after January 2021, which is a key milestone post the festive season,” adds Mamabolo. “The department is monitoring the festive season period closely as it relates to Covid-19 infections.”

Field hospitals closing

The health ministry set up these field hospitals in anticipation of a peak of Covid-19 cases. After a decrease in the need for quarantine facilities, provincial authorities are now closing down these temporary centres.

Facilities at Telkom in Olifantsfontein and Transnet in Esselen Park were closed in August and September respectively. The site at Eskom in Midrand is expected to shut down at the end of November.

“On behalf of the Gauteng provincial government, I would like to express our sincerest appreciation for the support and facilities that were provided by Telkom, Transnet, and Eskom in response to the call for strengthening capacity and efforts towards managing COVID-19, says Mamabolo.

In September, 21 patients were treated at the Nasrec facility, while five have been admitted October thus far. The department expects to spend less the Nasrec and the Eskom site, should the bed occupation numbers remain consistent with the current rate. — Health-e News

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Marcia Zali