CAPE TOWN, South Africa, June 9, 2020/ — The Hospital of Hope at the CTICC has started admitting its first COVID-19 patients yesterday, exactly one month after work on the site first began.
A total of ten patients were admitted to the facility yesterday. As the hospital is a new facility, additional beds will be activated in a phased manner until the entire hospital is fully operational.
The temporary hospital is the biggest COVID-19 field hospital in Africa, and was completed in just four weeks.
The Convention Centre generously sponsored the rental of the site allowing us to turn its four halls, and the service yard into a four ward facility, which will be staffed by over 900 people when all phases are operational.
Patients who are in recovery but still require medical care will be treated at the hospital until they are well enough to go home. Healthcare facilities at the hospital include apparatus to administer oxygen, a digital x-ray machine, physiotherapy areas as well as an on-site pharmacy.
The hospital will be a place of healing for many, and has for this reason been named The Hospital of Hope.
The commissioning team consisted of 40 team members focusing on various areas including infrastructure, engineering IT, health technology, and staffing. Over 100 people from the various contracting companies worked on the site.
The hospital was built in four phases including:
- Planning and design
- Construction and commissioning
- Ward fitting and testing
- The go live phase with phased activation of beds.
The hospital was officially opened by President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Western Cape Government on Friday. It has been specially designed and fitted out in order to reduce the risk of infection.
- Each bed is numbered and linked to our entirely paperless system. All admissions, patient files and administrative work is handled on this system in order to reduce the risk of infection associated with moving paper documents and files around.
- A specialised waste management system which incinerates medical waste, has been installed. A food elevator will be used to move patient meals from the kitchens below the hospital to the hospital floor in order to protect those working in catering.
- The staff showers have been placed on a separate floor to the hospital and near to the staff exit, allowing them to shower and change directly before leaving the facility at the end of shifts in order to further protect them and their families.
- Patients in the hospital will not be allowed to have visitors due to the high risk of infection. However, the facility has made wifi available so that they can video chat with family members and loved ones. We believe this is important as patients need the love and support as they recover.
We have also hung a rainbow themed artwork drawn by children in the province above every single bed in the facility to brighten up the space and as a symbol of hope for every patient.
As we move towards the peak of COVID-19 infections in the province at the end of June or beginning of July, many people in the Western Cape will become ill. This facility will create a space for people to recover, while at the same time allowing others to receive care in our other acute hospital facilities.
Two other temporary hospitals are currently still under construction in the province at Sonstraal in the Cape Winelands and at Brackengate along the R300. The Western Cape cabinet is currently considering the best ways to further expand the number of available beds in the province, including the option of a further 800 beds at CTICC 2.