To play their part in fighting the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Volkswagen group has decided to make its Port Elizabeth plant available as a field hospital.
The site will be used as an overflow medical facility. Once fully operational, the facility could accommodate up to 4,000 beds for patients diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus. This would also include high-acuity patients who require oxygenation, according to Volkswagen’s website.
The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) will provide funding of €5.2 million to support the conversion of the plant as well as the procurement of protective gear (PPE) for staff, while Volkswagen SA (VWSA) will contribute €1.37 million to the project.
“VWSA has devoted its time to finding innovative ways in which we can combat the scourge of Covid-19 and prepare the Metro to care for those who are infected. We are highly appreciative of the financial support from the BMZ/GIZ as it will help us to continue to offer support to protect our citizens and our country,” said Thomas Schaefer, Volkswagen Group South Africa Chairman and Managing Director.
This facility will be available for government use until March 2021.