Fear grips staff after nurse tests positive at Durban public hospital
Durban - A NURSE at a Durban public hospital tested positive for the Covid-19 virus on Wednesday.
A source at the hospital said the nurse last reported to work in the first weekend of this month. Yesterday, all health practitioners who worked with the theatre nurse were being tested.
A health-care worker at the hospital who did not want to be named said she was concerned by the development.
“I feel that proper protocols should be put in place. A theatre is a closed space and all workers, including doctors, nurses, cleaners and patients that could have been in contact should be tested, not just selected persons. We are putting our loved ones at risk by going home and possibly being asymptomatic carriers of the coronavirus. The theatre should be temporarily closed for proper cleaning of all surfaces and equipment,” the source said.
Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) provincial secretary Mandla Shabangu confirmed “that members of Denosa were informed that their colleague had tested positive for Covid-19 at this hospital”.
“Currently, all those suspected to have, or who had worked with the health-care worker, are going through testing, and after that they will go into isolation,” he said.
National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) provincial secretary Ayanda Zulu said they had requested an urgent meeting with the department.
“We are concerned about the safety of workers, especially after what happened at St Augustine’s and Kingsway hospitals. We think our call to make sure workers are provided with PPE (personal protection equipment) is highly relevant, including being provided with training,” said Zulu.
The Health Department could not confirm the Covid-19 case.
Spokesperson Ntokozo Maphisa said: “The KZN Executive Council has adopted a stance that the names of patients, hospitals and areas affected by coronavirus, the so-called ‘hot spots’, will not be divulged. This is to prevent the unnecessary stigmatisation of patients, families, health facilities (unless there are extenuating circumstances) and communities. People affected by Covid-19 need our solidarity, care and support, not discrimination,” said Maphisa.