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Nurses' union claims five workers at Addington Hospital 'tested positive'

Nurses' union Denosa says health-care workers have tested positive for Covid-19 at Durban's Addington Hospital.
Nurses' union Denosa says health-care workers have tested positive for Covid-19 at Durban's Addington Hospital.

Health workers at Durban's Addington Hospital have tested positive for Covid-19, the Democratic Nursing Union of SA (Denosa) said on Thursday.

The hospital has been identified as a state facility for the treatment of patients with Covid-19.

Mandla Shabangu, Denosa provincial secretary, said that five health workers had tested positive at the hospital.

Shabangu said they were investigating allegations that the transmission was linked to a nurse at the hospital whose partner worked at a private hospital.

“The people affected at Addington work in the theatre, among them are nurses. The report we have is that the person who first tested positive contracted it from her partner who was moonlighting at a private hospital,” said Shabangu.

“Addington Hospital is not closed. The theatre is closed because the positive cases were there. This did not happen in the ward where other patients with Covid-19 are being nursed,” he said.

Shabangu added: “For now I don't have all the finer details. There is only one case I can confirm is being treated in the hospital. I understand that the others are in self-isolation.”

Spokesperson for the KwaZulu-Natal department of health Ntokozo Maphisa would not comment specifically on the Addington situation. 

Maphisa said: “The department has put in place stringent clinical guidelines and protocols from the World Health Organisation that must be followed in providing treatment to patients affected by Covid-19, which also extend to how to avoid getting infected. 

“In cases where health-care workers may be infected, government is obliged to provide the necessary care and treatment.”

Mapping and tracing of their contacts is also conducted so that they, too, can be screened and tested, alongside the patients, to curb the further spread of the virus. 

“Furthermore, the affected section of the hospital may be closed, to allow for decontamination as part of the infection and prevention and control process. The above is normal procedure that applies to health-care workers and facilities across the board, including at Addington Hospital.”

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