Elderly PMB man dies in hospital's COVID-19 makeshift shelter

Elderly PMB man dies in hospital's COVID-19 makeshift shelter

The family of a Pietermaritzburg man who died in a 'makeshift' COVID-19 base in the parking lot of Northdale Hospital says they're distraught over what he went through.

Elderly PMB man dies in hospital's COVID-19 makeshift shelter

Sibusiso Khumalo, 67,  died of Hypoxia in one of the beds inside the structure made out of tent-like material on Saturday at 2am.

His daughter, Hlengiwe Khumalo has spoken to Newswatch after posting a video of the structure on social media last night. 

She says her dad -  who she's described as a fit and healthy man - began having breathing difficulties and chest pains on last Monday and was told to go to hospital.

READ: KZN infant and boy, 4, succumb to COVID-19 related complications

"He couldn't walk anymore, so the security guards gave him a wheelchair. A nurse then started conducting a series of tests which included a COVID-19 test. 

"He then told her, he is feeling cold because it is cold in Pietermaritzburg and she told him that there is nothing she can do about it. 

'My sister then went home and got a blanket and by then he was given an oxygen mask. My siblings stayed with him until 11 at night. He was still in that structure at that time. They covered him with a blanket and then they left him. He died at 2am."

Khumalo says they're still waiting for results from his COVID-19 test.

She says they're devastated and angry about the way her father was treated.

"We are very distraught. It's extremely disheartening to think that, that is what my father went through. 

"It was inhuman and I remember one Twitter user saying after seeing the video that it looked like something out of a war-zone. That's exactly what it looked like, it did not look like a place where a human being who is not feeling well should be kept."

KZN Premier, Sihle Zikalala has sent his condolences and says the KZN Health Department has launched an urgent investigation into the circumstances surrounding Khumalo's death.

He says if negligence is found on the part of the hospital those responsible must be held accountable. 

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