Fears as hospital workers contract infectious Covid-19

“Everyone in my house practises caution, they all wear masks and gloves and sanitise frequently.”

The Nursing Union of Public Services and Allied Workers (Nupsaw) has now called for a shutdown of the hospital, alleging that it was putting the lives of the healthcare workers at risk.

Nupsaw accused the hospital of allowing Covid-19 contacts to mix with others.

Nupsaw spokesperson Solly Malema said they had predicted that there would be a surge of infections at the hospital.

“This has resulted in a catastrophe at the Far East Rand Hospital and the community,” said Malema.

Malema said it was disappointing that the hospital was not shut down for deep cleaning, testing of staff and other possible contacts be allowed to self-isolate at home.

Gauteng health spokesperson Kwara Kekana, however, said in terms of its records, the hospital’s Covid-19 cases, including that of the administration clerk, were four.

“On Wednesday, 27 May 2020, we received positive Covid-19 results of an employee who is an administrative clerk in the transport department who had tested privately at Lancet Laboratory,” said Kekana.

Kekana said the process of contact tracing and testing was immediately initiated wherein all contacts were also tested.

“As from Thursday 28 May 2020, 888 employees were tested with 384 negative, 502 pending and two positive results [one laundry worker and one porter].

“The provincial department of health and the Ekurhuleni district are fully aware of these cases,” she said.

Kekana said the first case was reported to management on Monday May 18 at around midday, while the second one was reported the same day at about 6pm.

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