The Department of Health in the North West has approached three private hospitals to assist with accommodating COVID-19 or coronavirus patients.
This was revealed by MEC Madoda Sambatha when he addressed the media on Tuesday, after confirmation that the province now had five confirmed cases of the virus.
Sambatha said government hopes to sign an agreement soon with the three private hospitals that are owned by mining companies.
“We are speaking with Anglo on availability of Westvall for 120 beds. We are speaking with the owners of Duff Scott in Khuma, and we are speaking with the owners of Bleskop hospital in Rustenburg.
By today we are signing agreements for government to have on its list the three private mining houses hospitals with us. We are going to take technical ownership up until the declaration of the disaster and the declaration of the lockdown is reviewed,” said Sambatha.
The MEC appealed members of the public to adhere to the National State of Disaster regulations.
“We must first deal with this element of prevention and promotion. When you are told to wash hands, keep social spacing, don’t have an activity of above 50, and when you’re also told don’t have an activity of above 100... All those precautionary measures must be the first elements we are interested in as South Africans. Our mentality must be a mentality ready on a principle of prevention being better than cure,” Sambatha said.
South Africa is counting down to the beginning of a lockdown on Thursday as announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday night. The lockdown is meant to help reduce the spread of the virus.