Durban hospitals slam fake news saying they are closed due to Covid-19

By Se-Anne Rall Time of article published Jun 30, 2020

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Durban - Two Durban hospitals have slammed reports claiming  they have shut down and will not be taking on any new patients due to a spread in Covid-19 cases. 

On Tuesday, a WhatsApp message was shared among community groups, claiming Netcare's St Augustine's Hospital had shut after six doctors contracted the coronavirus from patients and had infected six nurses. 

The message goes on to say that patients from the hospital have been transferred to the Life Entabeni, Netcare Parklands and Life Westville hospitals. 

The text message that has been shared on social media


 According to Netcare St Augustine's Hospital general manager, Heinrich Venter, the message is a hoax. 

The hoax message that has circulated on social media

"There is no truth whatsoever that Netcare St Augustine’s Hospital will be closing down today and that patients will be transferred to other hospitals, or that any doctors at the hospital have tested positive for Covid-19. The message which seems to currently be circulating on WhatApp is fake and highly irresponsible," he said. 

"It is, in fact, a criminal offence to spread such fake news which causes totally unnecessary concern and anxiety among the public and the loved ones of patients currently being cared for in our hospital," Venter added. 

Ahmed Al-Kadi Private Hospital's Ebrahim Asmal said they were aware of the post and confirmed it was not true. 

"This is fake news and has been reported to the relevant authorities. Ahmed Al-Kadi Private Hospital is prepared to treat any suspected cases of Covid-19 according to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases protocol," he said. 

Asmal said any confirmed cases were being treated using relevant procedures implemented under the NICD, Department of Health and World Haalth Organization's guidance of the infection prevention and control strategies. 

He said the hospital and its emergency units remained opened.  

The Mercury

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