South Africa has identified 37 sites around the country that can be used as quarantine facilities in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, says Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia De Lille.
“One of the key tasks for the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure has been to identify state-owned buildings which could possibly be used as quarantine sites in all 44 districts and eight metros.
“So far we have identified 37 properties in various provinces,” she said.
De Lille said as more cases of the COVID-19 virus are announced by the Department of Health, Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, has been informed of the 37 sites that have been identified by the national department.
She said some of the sites will be available to people living in informal settlements where there are no such facilities available.
She said teams from the department’s head office and in all regional offices have 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 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] owned properties,” she said.
Provinces avail more quarantine sites
The Minister said the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Public Works has advised that a number of properties are available for use as quarantine sites in Durban North, Pietermaritzburg, Richards Bay and Port Shepstone.
“The Limpopo Provincial Public Works Department has informed us that they can avail four properties to possibly be used as quarantine sites. These are located in Waterberg, Vhembe, Capricorn and Mopani districts.
“The North West Provincial Department of Public Works has advised that they can avail more than 130 sites across the province including four hospitals.”
The Portfolio Committee on Public Works and Infrastructure has commended government for identifying government buildings as quarantine sites.
According to the committee, the government’s seamless and coordinated approach in working on this matter will assist greatly in ensuring that the country wins the battle.
The committee further echoed government’s pleas in asking South Africans to continue practicing social distancing and good hygiene to avoid the spreading of this virus. – SAnews.gov.za