The Western Cape Government held a digicon on 30 April 2020, where plans for converting the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) into a temporary hospital for COVID-19 patients were shared.

Premier Alan Winde opened the briefing by explaining that the province has a projected shortfall of 1,000 hospital beds needed to treat COVID-19 patients. To address this, they will be setting up three temporary hospitals with a total of 1,400 beds, with the first being at the CTICC.

Professor Lee Wallace, the head of the Division of Emergency Medicine at the University of Cape Town, has been working with the Western Cape Government on this project. He explained that these plans were initiated in mid-March, and the CTICC will be ready to start receiving patients from mid-June.

“The convention centre will have 857 beds, which will be inter-mediate care beds reserved for patients who have tested positive with COVID-19 and who require hospitalisation, but who are presenting with milder clinical signs.”

The convention centre will have 857 beds, which will be inter-mediate care beds reserved for patients who have tested positive with COVID-19 and who require hospitalisation, but who are presenting with milder clinical signs and do not require an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) bed. Should a patient’s condition worsen and become critical, they will be moved to an ICU bed at another hospital.

Medical staff, including specialists, and the full range of hospital support services such as x ray machines and sonars will be available onsite, said Prof Wallace.

Western Cape Government COVID-19 Digicon

Posted by Premier Alan Winde on Thursday, April 30, 2020

A statement released by Premier Alan Winde notes that the CTICC is waiving the hire cost of the venue, as part of its contribution to the fight against coronavirus. The cost to prepare the venue, and operate as a hospital, will cost approximately R47 million. This amount excludes the costs for clinical equipment, oxygen, medication and temporary staff, which will be covered by the Department of Health.

“The conversion of CTICC 1 into a temporary COVID-19 hospital facility will add to the resources needed in our healthcare system to fight this pandemic. We are proud to be part of the team.”

Taubie Motlhabane, CEO of the CTICC, said, “During these extraordinary times, we welcome the opportunity for the CTICC to be part of the solution. The conversion of CTICC 1 into a temporary COVID-19 hospital facility will add to the resources needed in our healthcare system to fight this pandemic. We are proud to be part of the team.”