King Edward Hospital to remain open despite 5 nurses testing positive for Covid-19

By Thobeka Ngema Time of article published Jun 2, 2020

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Durban - THE provincial Department of Health has said it would not be closing King Edward VIII Hospital because five of its staff had tested positive for Covid-19. 

It said such an approach was “unsustainable”.

Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said they were aware of the positive test results and noted calls from staff to close the hospital.

She said they were guided by the extent of infections, based on a formal risk assessment study, in line with guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) on the clinical management of Covid-19.

Simelane-Zulu said hospital management was conducting the risk assessment study, which would consider, among other factors, where the infection took place; when it happened; who was infected; and who their contacts were.

“Our intervention going forward will be based on findings from that investigation. The decision on whether to close the theatre, or any other part of the hospital, will be determined by the number of positive tests and extent of the building’s exposure to the virus,” said Simelane-Zulu.

According to a nurse at the hospital, they were told last week that a nurse had tested positive and the hospital would only test those who were in close contact with the nurse.

She said since learning about the first positive case, they had not been tested and daily operations continued as normal.

The nurse felt more needed to be done.

Public Servants Association of SA provincial manager Mlungisi Ndlovu said nurses had informed them about the Covid-19 cases and the union

had spent Sunday discussing the

matter at the hospital and had asked management to assist the affected nurses.

He said staff should not have to ask to be tested. The department should take action against management who failed to comply with protocols.

Daily News

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