Five health-care workers test positive for Covid-19 at Durban's King Edward VIII hospital

Five health-care workers at Durban's King Edward VIII hospital have tested positive for Covid-19 but the hospital will not be closed.
Five health-care workers at Durban's King Edward VIII hospital have tested positive for Covid-19 but the hospital will not be closed.
Image: KZN department of health

Five health-care workers at Durban's King Edward VIII hospital have tested positive for Covid-19. 

The provincial MEC for health, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, said on Monday that the department was notified that the workers had tested positive and would not be entertaining calls for the closure of the hospital.

“We wish to reiterate, as we have previously stated, that we will not be embarking on the wholesale closure of every health-care facility where staff test positive.

"That approach is unsustainable. Instead, we are guided by the extent of infections, based on a formal risk assessment study, in line with guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO) on the clinical management of Covid-19.”

“Hospital management is conducting the risk assessment, which will consider, among other factors: where the infection took place; when it happened; who was infected; and who their contacts were. Our intervention will be based on findings from that investigation.”

Simelane-Zulu said the decision on whether to close the theatre or any other part of the hospital will be determined by the number of positive tests and extent of the building’s exposure to the virus.

“We call upon the media and society at large to understand that hospitals are there to accept and treat patients with various kinds of ailments, including Covid-19. 

“As government, we have a paramount responsibility to provide all the equipment and gear that is necessary to prevent the transmission of the virus within the hospital setting; between patients and staff – and among staff themselves. Both staff and patients have their own responsibility to adhere to safety precautions.”

National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) provincial secretary Ayanda Zulu said unions met hospital managers on Sunday and were informed that the five workers had tested positive. Zulu said they were notified that further staff who may have come into contact with those who tested positive would also be tested.


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