One of the country’s largest private hospitals, St. Augustines in Durban, has reported that 66 people in the hospital have tested positive for COVID-19, of which 47 are staff members.
“We are deeply saddened that, despite our very best efforts and precautions, there have been a total of four COVID-19 associated deaths at Netcare St Augustine’s Hospital in Durban, since the outbreak started in South Africa,” says Dr Richard Friedland, chief executive officer of the Netcare Group in a statement today [March 8].
“Of the staff and doctors tested, we confirm that 47 people who are connected with our hospital have tested positive for COVID-19. Of the 47 positive cases, 33 are in self-isolation and a further 14 are being accommodated by Netcare to ensure that they are able to safely self-quarantine. Of those who tested positive, one person has tested negative following his period of self-quarantine, and has returned to work.”
In an interview with 702, KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said the hospital has now been closed to outside patients. Those currently inside the hospital will be tested, and those confirmed positive will remain in the hospital. Those that test negative will be moved to another facility.
The hospital has since implemented a number of safety measures to help curb the spread. These include:
– closing the hospital’s emergency department
– decontaminating and disinfecting the entire hospital
– testing all employees
– continuing COVID-19 symptomatic screening of all persons working in the hospital
– contacting all patients who were treated at the emergency department or admitted into the hospital as from March 1, 2020.
– setting up a dedicated 24-hour communication channel to manage queries
Listen to the interview with KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu here: