As South Africa prepares to launch the continent’s first coronavirus vaccine trial, the Rainbow Nation has opened a new field hospital for people with COVID-19 in a de-commissioned Volkswagen plant.
According to the country’s health authorities, 3,300 beds have been installed in the new field hospital, bringing the total number of beds across the country to 27,000 for COVID-19 patients at more than 400 quarantine sites.
“A total of three thousand three hundred beds, coming along with oxygen reticulation. All of this is a very important combination of what our needs are at this point, this has been now established within record time”, Dr. Zweli Mkhize, South African Minister of Health said.
Coronavirus cases in South Africa rose to more than 100,000 Monday, while the number of deaths neared 2,000.
About 3,500 doctors and nurses have contracted the virus since the start of the pandemic, and at least 34 have died of respiratory illness.
But the southern African nation is in the process of vaccinating 2,000 people with the vaccine, developed by the Oxford Jenner Institute, which is already being evaluated in Britain, where 4,000 participants have enrolled in the trial.