Independent Online

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

Union calls for more PPE for nurses as more health workers contract coronavirus

File Picture:

File Picture:

Published Apr 22, 2020


Durban - A NURSING union has called for better protection for nurses after three

health-care workers tested positive for

Story continues below Advertisement

Covid-19 at two private hospitals in


Two nurses at Lenmed Shifa Hospital and a nurse from Netcare Parklands Hospital’s paediatric ward received their results on Friday.

The nurses at Shifa allegedly contracted the virus from a patient they were caring for.

Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) spokesperson Mandla Shabangu said the nurse at Parklands allegedly contracted the virus outside the hospital.

Lenmed Shifa Hospital manager Abdool Amod confirmed the two positive cases there.

Story continues below Advertisement

“We’re doing everything we can to assist in their recovery and safe return to work,” he said.

Amod said the practices implemented met and exceeded those recommended by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), however they continuously looked at ways to make improvements.

He said: “Please be assured that the safety of our patients, employees, doctors and community members is our priority; our staff and facilities are prepared for Covid-19 and our procedures are aligned with the NICD guidelines.

Story continues below Advertisement

“We maintain open communication with our employees and provide ongoing training. Correct personal protective equipment (PPE) usage and availability is a priority to us.”

Netcare coastal region director Craig Murphy said the group was not allowed to disclose information on Covid-19 cases in its hospitals unless it had consent from the Department of Health. The paediatric ward was closed on Friday but had re-opened.

This is the fourth Netcare hospital in KwaZulu-Natal to close one of its departments because of Covid-19.

Story continues below Advertisement

A source said everyone in contact with the nurse who was diagnosed was called to be tested on Monday, including children being treated in the ward for cancer.

“Netcare understands and respects the public’s concerns regarding Covid-19. We’re in ongoing communication with the department and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases. Netcare Parklands Hospital is open and operating, including its paediatric unit,” he said.

Shabangu urged the government and private hospitals to adequately provide nurses with PPE.

The union engaged with Netcare management three weeks ago and was assured that staff had PPE.

When it raised the issue of nurses from St Augustine’s Hospital complaining about a lack of PPE, it was told there were no facts to substantiate such a claim.

“Then we heard 48 nurses tested positive. How did this happen?” he asked.

The department did not respond to questions at the time of publication.

Recently, a man with prostate cancer died at Parklands Hospital due to Covid-19-related complications.

Last week, Netcare Kingsway Hospital temporarily closed, and transferred patients and directed other patients to public hospitals, after a patient tested positive for Covid-19.

Earlier this month, the Health Department and Netcare decided to shut down Netcare St Augustine’s Hospital after 66 people there tested positive for Covid-19 .

Daily News

Related Topics: