Netcare brings in expert for its infected St Augustine’s hospital
The hospital in Durban is being disinfected after 62 test positive for Covid-19
08 April 2020 - 23:39Katharine ChildNetcare. Picture: FINANCIAL MAILNetcare has brought in a world-renowned epidemiologist to investigate the spread of Covid-19 at its St Augustine’s hospital in Durban after at least 47 staff members were infected and at least four patients died at the facility.
The company has employed Salim Karim, who is the pro vice-chancellor for research at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and director of the Centre for the Aids Programme of Research in SA. He is also professor of clinical epidemiology at Columbia University in the US and adjunct professor of medicine at Cornell University, New York.
St Augustine’s, which is closed to new patients, has treated 25 patients who arrived after contracting the disease, with 12 remaining at the facility.Netcare CEO Richard Friedland said he wasn’t able to disclose the number of people who got infected there until health minister Zweli Mkhize had disclosed the information, though he confirmed that the disease had spread and infected patients there.
The latest coronavirus coverageNetcare says the outbreak started with two patients who came to hospital in middle of March for other treatments. They did not have Covid-19 symptoms when they arrived.The hospital was closed to new admissions on April 2 and started deep cleaning and disinfecting the next day.
Nursing union Denosa has called for it to be shut.Friedland told Business Day that Karim has advised against moving patients as this could spread the disease if they later test positive.Asked about damage to the Netcare brand, Friedland said the company was"not focused on that at moment. We are focused on containing the spread of disease to staff and patients."
The hospital and health department have tested almost half its 1,972 staff for the disease. It is still awaiting 308 results, with 504 coming back negative.The group may take a financial hit from the cancellation of all non-emergency surgery countrywide to make room for Covid-19 patients, but Friedland said this was not a priority."This is a national crisis."
Friedland said initial precautionary measures included limiting visitors to patients and stopping outsiders using Netcare pharmacies.It divided its hospital into three zones, with known cases kept in a quarantine area known as the red zone.No symptoms
Unconfirmed cases awaiting test results were kept in a different zone, while those with no symptoms or likelihood of Covid-19 infection were left in a less restricted area. Read more: Business Day »
48 staffers test positive for Covid-19 at Durban's St Augustine's Hospital, partial closure loomsAccording to Minister Mkhize, the provincial health department is engaging with the hospital with the view of closing parts of the hospital down. TheMercurySA If we close hospitals where people test positive who will treat the South African population TheMercurySA CyrilRamaphosa PresidencyZA DrZweliMkhize are we serious as a nation in protecting our frontline health workers in battling Covid-19, when 48 staffers working a health facility test positive? CoronaVirus Lockdown TheMercurySA Too scary nearly the whole hospital's staff what happened
COVID-19: Mkhize concerned about St. Augustine's HospitalHealth Minister Zweli Mkhize has expressed concern about St. Augustine's Hospital in Durban. We trust God in everything that is happening in our country no matter how hard it is we will conquere this virus because mkhulu ongakithi kunalona osezweni As we all should be. 60 infected staff members and hundreds of track, trace and test exercises. The spread from this alone... 🤣🤣🤣
Close down St Augustine's hospital immediately, says union, after 66 people test positive for Covid-19The Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA has called for one of the country's biggest private hospitals, Durban's St Augustine's Hospital, to shut its doors immediately after the national health minister announced that 66 people have tested positive for Covid-19 there It's obviously contaminated with the Corona Virus Let the medics decide Guess we gonna close down all hospital’s eventually because that’s where all infected persons go
COVID-19: Denosa wants St Augustine's Hospital closed downSixty-six people have tested positive for COVID-19 at the health facility and 48 of them are believed to be staff members. We can't afford to close down a Hospital during this crisis of COVID-19 Nurse's don't have protective gear... When will we address that issue?.. Denosa should be assessing the risk of nurse's exposure to infection instead of screaming negligence. Not during this crisis, please🙏🏾
Medical expert to investigate Covid-19 outbreak at St Augustine's hospitalAcclaimed epidemiologist Professor Salim Karim will lead an investigation into the outbreak of the coronavirus at St Augustine's hospital in Durban.
WATCH: KZN Health MEC announces closure of St Augustine's HospitalMEC for Health in KwaZulu-Natal Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu announced that St Augustine's Hospital has been closed down and only one ward remains open where positive patients are being treated. TheMercurySA It's tough TheMercurySA It's long overdue. TheMercurySA I hope the media, objectively digs deep into this unacceptable scandal. Such a high level of infections! Negligence?