Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille has identified 37 sites that can be used as quarantine facilities across several provinces as part of government’s response to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.
De Lille made the announcement during a media briefing on Thursday in Cape Town as she outlined measures being taken by her department to respond to the pandemic.
She said the efforts were part of the department’s response to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s declaration of a national state of disaster on Sunday.
“One of the key tasks for the department of public works and infrastructure has been to identify state-owned buildings that could possibly be used as quarantine sites in all 44 districts and eight metros.
"So far we have identified 37 properties in various provinces,” said De Lille.
The minister said the efforts were necessitated by the continued increase in the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases.
She said some of the sites would be made available specifically for people living in informal settlements, where there are currently no quarantine facilities available.
De Lille said teams from the department’s head office and in all regional offices had been visiting all districts to assess properties, and this process was ongoing.
“Some of the sites have already been communicated to the minister of health.
"We have also communicated to minister Zweli Mkhize that the department is engaging with all provincial public works departments and local governments to ensure that we are able to identify possible quarantine sites in all 44 districts and eight metros in cases where there are no available [public works department]-owned properties,” she said.
She added that more quarantine sites were on the cards, as the KwaZulu-Natal department of public works had advised that a number of properties were available for use as quarantine sites in Durban North, Pietermaritzburg, Richards Bay and Port Shepstone.
“The Limpopo public works department has informed us that it can avail four properties to possibly be used as quarantine sites. These are located in Waterberg, Vhembe, Capricorn and Mopani districts.
“The North West has advised that it can avail more than 130 sites across the province, including four hospitals,” said De Lille.
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