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Elderly Durban couple in isolation at retirement home after being struck by Covid-19

An elderly Durban couple is in isolation at their retirement home after being diagnosed with Covid-19.
An elderly Durban couple is in isolation at their retirement home after being diagnosed with Covid-19.
Image: 123RF/arekmalang

An elderly Durban couple — both residents at a retirement home — is in isolation after testing positive for Covid-19.

The two, who live at Kendra Gardens retirement facility in Greyville, are being closely monitored by a doctor.

Jerry Magjee, head of the Gujarati Hindu Sanskruti Kendra, an organisation which the facility is part of, said the couple may have contracted the virus while they were out on errands.

“We have put them in isolation. We are now dealing with keeping them contained in their room for 14 days.

"We are following the normal protocol of making sure that as many people as possible get tested. It is unfortunate because we have managed to contain it for all this time. But it is happening everywhere.

“The elderly are getting exposed when they go to collect their pensions.”

He said staff at the facility have been living at the premises to minimise risks.

“We are prepared just in case there is an increase in numbers.”

Magjee said a doctor was monitoring the couple every two to three hours.

Meanwhile, three elderly residents living at The Association for the Aged (Tafta) facilities in Durban have also tested positive for the virus.

Managers said in a statement that it had taken a decision last week to lock down the Langeler Towers and John Conradie House complex “at the advice of visiting health department officials in order to isolate infection within the facility and prevent the spread of the virus both within the home and outside the home, through the movement of residents and visitors in and out of the building.”

The decision met with objections from some residents who want to continue to run errands like buy groceries and collect their pensions.

Tafta management said: “While some residents do not share communal facilities, many of the individuals wishing to leave and re-enter the home daily do share accommodation with others and we cannot allow them to risk the wellbeing of other, isolating elders abiding by the rules of lockdown.

“They were informed that those who were state pensioners would still receive their state-procured pensions via Tafta. They would still have access to the in-facility grocery store on the property to purchase essential goods throughout the lockdown.

“Those receiving private pensions and other sources of income will also be helped. The entire Tafta social work team has been deployed to the site to assist and support elders with these concerns." ​

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