Private Durban hospital partially shut after 11 workers contract coronavirus

Private Durban hospital partially shut after 11 workers contract coronavirus

Health authorities in KZN say the trauma unit of a private hospital in Durban has been shut down for mass testing, after 11 healthcare workers there tested positive for the new coronavirus.

Hospital Beds / Pexels
Hospital Beds / Pexels

Speaking at a briefing in Durban a short while ago, Premier Sihle Zikalala, who declined to name the hospital, said they were looking at possibly shutting down the entire hospital.

"Out of 20 health workers that have been screened at this hospital, 11 have tested positive. We can also confirm that we have started testing all patients who were treated at this hospital from the 1 March 2020 to date so that they can be screened and tested too. We have advised them to stop taking new patients," Zikalala said.

The CEO of the Netcare Group, Richard Friedland, released a statement shortly the Provincial Executive Council briefing, confirming that three patients have died from COVID-19 at St Augustine's Hospital in Durban.

"Two of the patients were first admitted to the hospital on 9 and 13 March 2020 respectively, and the third patient on 14 March 2020. These patients did not have a history of recent international travel or known contact with a person who was COVID-19 positive, nor did they present with any symptoms of COVID-19 when they were screened on admission," Friedland said.

He says they took a decision yesterday to increase the level of screening and testing of nursing, support and contracted staff, doctors, paramedics, as well as current patients at the hospital.

"The screening and testing will enable the hospital to isolate any patients and hospital workers with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 as well as facilitate the tracking of all persons who have been in contact with the healthcare workers or patients to ensure that they are tested and that they take the necessary precautionary measures to prevent the further spread of the infection," he said.

Friedland says they immediately put further measures in place, including the closure of the hospital’s emergency department, and stopped all new admissions into the hospital.

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