Isolation centre for Ocean View

Volunteers at an Ocean View centre for Covid19 convalescents are ready to work.

Ocean View residents have turned a creche into a quarantine facility for Covid-19 convalescents.

The centre opened on Tuesday July 7 and has two bedrooms with five beds, a bathroom, a lounge and a small kitchen.

Its entrance is separate from the main house on the Callisto Way property owned by Community Action Network (CAN) volunteer Ramona Lamb.

CAN is a local action group, set up in communities across Cape Town in response to the coronavirus pandemic. It works with the provincial Department of Health and the South African government, aiding the vulnerable and providing support and information to those in need.

Ms Lamb made her property available after Ricochet van Rensburg, an Emergency Volunteer Support (EVS) volunteer and Dr Leanne Brady worked on the concept with other volunteers for months but struggled to find a venue.

EVS is a community-based emergency-and-disaster response group that works with the Metro emergency medical service and the local fire brigade.

Both Mr Van Rensburg and Dr Brady are part of the Health CAN, which works with other CAN members to set up community care centres.

Mr Van Rensburg said the model had been used in Sierra Leone during the Ebola outbreak and was a simple concept of community taking care of community.

Ms Lamb said her creche was closed because of Covid-19 so the decision to make it available had been an easy one.

“Ricochet had a dream, and I had the property, and the community needed it, and now we can give back to the community,” she said.

But it has taken several months to get the project off the ground.

Mr Van Rensburg said there had been times when he had felt like giving up because no one had wanted to get involved or help.

Ms Lamb said many in
Ocean View lived in cramped conditions, making self-isolation difficult for those with Covid-19.

“There are so many people in our community who live in one-bedroomed flats with up to 10 people in one flat, and they are not able to go quarantine at their own home.”

The centre does not get any financial support from the government, but the head of the provincial Department of Health, Dr Douglas Newman-Valentine, attended the official opening on behalf of Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo.

TheMEC’sspokesperson, Nomawethu Sbukwana, said Dr Mbombo supported the community initiative in its fight against Covid-19.

The centre is staffed by 10 volunteers, and Ms Lamb said patients would be referred by a local clinic.

According to Dr Brady, hospitalisation isn’t necessary for 85% of Covid-19 cases, but those patients still need care and many of
them don’t want to leave their neighbourhoods to self-isolate, hence the need for the centre.

Ms Lamb said the centre needed more volunteers, and she hoped they would come from the community’s youth.

“So many of our youth are affected by gangsterism and violence, and by participating in this initiative it could give them a positive purpose in life.”

Ms Lamb said the centre was ready to take its first patients.

Thanks to donors, the centre has enough personal protective equipment (PPE) for a month and Ocean View CAN will assist with feeding the patients.

See more pictures on page 3.