A healthcare worker wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) makes his way out of a temporary ward dedicated to the treatment of possible COVID-19 coronavirus patients at the Nasrec Field Hospital. AFP/Michele Spatari
JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng health department says the Nasrec field hospital is ready for a possible influx of patients.
The province’s Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi visited the facility on Monday.
It has 1,000 beds and can accommodate about 1,500 patients.
Public health specialist Dr Ntsakisi Masinga said: "Our current functional beds are 1,000 beds which are spread across Hall 5 and Hall 6. Hall 7 and 8 beds were decommissioned in September.
"Those beds are still available and as we respond to changing numbers, there is a plan to reactive the beds."
Meanwhile, nurses at the hospital say patients receive additional care while being treated for the virus.
"I see them individually for counselling, trauma counselling," said Trinity Ncube.
"Some of them have seen patients die at the bigger hospitals, or family die, so we have to give them counselling because mental health is important."
Patients are also encouraged to go out in the sun and keep active.
Meanwhile, the department has a plea for Gauteng residents.
"We do have beds, our people must not wait if there are those signs they present with," Mokgethi said.
"They must immediately seek help so we can provide them with the healthcare that they need."
The department has reiterated that the medical staff will receive the support they need.