In its efforts to ramp up the fight against Covid-19, the Eastern Cape government is pumping more than R50 million into its health department to upgrade the infrastructure at 28 major hospitals across the province, the Office of the Premier announced in a statement on Thursday.
Provincial spokesperson Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha said the money would help the health department to prepare the facilities for admission of people infected by Covid-19.
The province accounts for 13.3% of infections nationally, with 1 534 confirmed cases of coronavirus, 22 deaths and 632 recoveries.
Port Elizabeth and East London remain the hot spots for the virus with eight and six deaths, respectively.
Sicwetsha said the budget would help address the state of infrastructure at the hospitals.
The allocation is as follows:
- More than R4 million was allocated to hospitals in the Alfred Nzo District
- R3 million to the Amathole District Municipality
- R3 million to the Buffalo City Metro, R395 489 to the Chris Hani District
- More than R9 million for the Joe Gqabi District
- More than R5 million for the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro
- R15 million for the OR Tambo District Municipality
- R7 million for the Sarah Baartman District Municipality
"As part of this programme, infrastructure upgrades at six hospitals - Grey Hospital in the Buffalo City Metro, Mthatha General Hospital, St Elizabeth Hospital, Isilimela in the OR Tambo, Dora Nginza Hospital in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro and Nompumelelo Hospital in Peddie - have been completed.
"The six hospitals are part of the 28 hospitals being upgraded by the provincial government," said Sicwetsha.
"The Eastern Cape Provincial Coronavirus Command Council welcomed the work being done by the provincial public works and infrastructure department, emphasising the importance of all infrastructure projects meeting targets set for their completion."
Eastern Cape Premier Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane said the investments into the infrastructure of these hospitals during this pandemic would ensure long-lasting benefits to communities whose hospitals had decaying infrastructure.
There are 91 hospitals and 700 clinics in the Eastern Cape and some of them have been in a bad state for years.
Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa visited the Eastern Cape on Thursday to inspect the provincial government's efforts in the fight against the pandemic.