Union calls for temporary closure of Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital after nurse tests positive for Covid-19
Durban - The Public Servants Association is calling for the temporary closure of Durban's Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital after a nurse allegedly tested positive for Covid-19.
On Thursday, the PSA demanded that government temporarily close the hospital immediately to avoid the virus spreading like it did at Netcare's St Augustine's Hospital.
According to the PSA's Mlungisi Ndlovu, they received complaints from members regarding a patient who allegedly did not following screening protocol at the hospital.
"This person went through without following the correct process. We received info of a case where a member contracted Covid-19 and we want the hospital to be temporarily shut down to ensure that every frontline worker is tested to prevent the spread of Covid-19," he said.
The union further claimed that 40 members of staff have been placed in quarantine.
According to patients, it was business as usual at the hospital on Thursday.
A woman, who asked not to be named, said she had been screened before entering the hospital.
"Everyone inside seemed fine. Someone did mention that a ward was being sanitised and cleaned ahead of the arrival of Covid-19 patients from another hospital but no one said which hospital," she said.
Another man said he had taken his mother to hospital for her treatment but did not hear anything about a nurse testing positive.
Spokesperson for the Department of Health in KwaZulu-Natal, Noluthando Nkosi, said only the Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize is authorised to confirm positive cases of coronavirus.
"Furthermore, both Premier Sihle Zikalala, and KZN Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu have adopted a stance that the names of patients, hospitals, and areas affected by coronavirus – the so-called 'hotspots – will not be divulged. This is to prevent the stigmatisation of patients, families, health facilities, unless there are extenuating circumstances, and communities. People who are affected by Covid-19 need our solidarity, care and support – not discrimination.
"Government is focusing on demystifying the novel coronavirus, so as to create awareness about the virus, what its symptoms are, as well as what those who display them need to do. Also important is for people to heed the instructions of the lockdown and stay at home. We call on the media to support these efforts," she said.