As a precautionary measure to ensure there will be enough isolation areas to treat patients with Covid-19 in Mpumalanga, five secluded rest camps in provincial game parks have been prepared for a possible bigger onslaught.
Several people in the province who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus have already been moved to one of these facilities.
According to Pat Ngomane, MEC for finance, economic development and tourism, 675 beds are available at these five camps.
On Saturday, Ngomane visited the Kromdraai camp in the Songimvelo reserve near Badplaas to ensure the unit was ready for the crisis.
The other camps on the list are SS Skosana in the SS Skosana nature reserve, the Zithabiseni camp in the Mabusa nature reserve, both situated in KwaMhlanga, as well as the Manyeleti and Andover nature reserves near Bushbuckridge.
These four reserves are near the border with Limpopo and can also be used for patients from that province.
“In case additional beds are required, we have also identified the Mpumalanga Regional Training Trust Hotel School in KaNyamazane, the Royal Hotel in Pilgrim’s Rest, [and] the Graskop Lodge quarantine sites,” added the MEC.
“If the need arises, all school hostels in Mpumalanga will also be made available,” said Ngomane.
Dumisani Malamule, the spokesperson for the department of health in Mpumalanga, said combined teams of medical staff from both the national and Mpumalanga health departments, as well as members of the South African Medical Health Service, are on standby to be deployed to these centres.
One medical team has been deployed to a centre in one of the nature reserves where Covid-19 patients are being treated.
Malamule did not want to say which camp was currently being used.