An emergency mass morgue is up and running at the Tygerberg Hospital Precinct. The construction of the morgue was announced on June 25, when the peak of COVID-19 was expected to hit in early July.

The emergency mass morgue has been designed to store and refrigerate up to 770 bodies, and currently holds three bodies.

“The mass fatality centre consists of 12 containers on-site and is connected to three-phase power,” Western Cape Department of Health spokesperson Mark Van Der Heever confirmed to News24. “It currently has 576 racking space and, once the remaining racks are delivered, will have a total storage capacity of 624 spaces.”

“The facility is fully operational and has received nine cases to date and assists in scientific identifications where required, issuing the cause of death certificates and offers bereavement counselling to those families that visit the centre,” he added. “The facility currently has three deceased in storage”.

The Tygerberg Hospital precinct, along with the University of Stellenbosch medical school, now also houses a temporary field hospital. Just after this one was established, the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) was also converted into a field hospital, called the Hospital of Hope.

A total of R3.05-million has been allocated to help in the efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in the Western Cape, with R1.8-billion allocated to funding medical equipment, infrastructure and field hospitals.

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