Desiree Dickson, 35, went to St Vincent Hospital at Belhar after noticing that she had Covid-19 symptoms but was allegedly was sent back by a security guard. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
Desiree Dickson, 35, went to St Vincent Hospital at Belhar after noticing that she had Covid-19 symptoms but was allegedly was sent back by a security guard. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Belhar resident who suspected she had Covid-19 told go home by clinic security

By Mthuthuzeli Ntseku Time of article published Apr 6, 2020

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Cape Town - The Belhar Community Health Forum is outraged over what they see as the “neglect” of a resident who suspected she had Covid-19 and went to a local clinic but got sent home by security.

Desiree Dickson, 35, from Belhar went to the St Vincent Clinic on Friday for screening after experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus, but was abruptly told to go to Tygerberg Hospital instead.

The Belhar Community Health Forum has written to the centre

manager and the City demanding answers.

Forum secretary Shenayn Benjamin said Dickson explained to the security person at the gate that she had some of the Covid-19 symptoms and suspected that she might have the virus.

“The security person refused her entry or even to call any of the staff members to ascertain what was wrong with her, but was rather told to go to Tygerberg Hospital.

“She was obviously unwell and did not have the strength to walk home. She went to someone she is familiar with at the local pet shop at the Belhar Business Park and rested, where the ward councillor was called and then contacted the forum,” she said.

Tygerberg Hospital was called and arranged that their evacuation team fetch the patient, Benjamin said.

Ward Councillor Delmainne Cottle confirmed that Dickson was in isolation at Tygerberg Hospital Ward D 10 for three days. However, she tested negative for Covid-19 and was diagnosed with TB.

Benjamin said the matter was of grave concern for the forum and the community.

“The security officer held the power to deny access to medical care without possessing the necessary screening skills. We want to know what checks and balances are in place to screen suspected Covid-19 patients that arrive at the clinic’s gate.

“We also need to know what will be done to prevent such an incident reoccurring in future. We also want to know what steps will be taken against the security persons and the employer,” said Benjamin.

She said they had to intervene in a medical matter of national importance and were therefore seeking answers.

Mayoral committee member for community service and health Zahid Badroodien said they received the complaint and were investigating.

“At the moment, security helps us to enact physical distancing regulations. Security does not have the power to refuse entry to residents into our health facilities when there is no threat to other patients or staff. “

Badroodien urged residents with symptoms to call the Covid-19 hotline before visiting a health facility.

@Mtuzeli

[email protected]

Cape Argus

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