Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency(ANA)
Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency(ANA)

One visitor allowed in Gauteng hospitals, but only in ‘exceptional cases’

By Sihle Mlambo Time of article published Jun 18, 2021

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Johannesburg - The Gauteng Health Department has temporarily suspended hospital visitations at public health facilities as the third wave of the coronavirus continues to spread rapidly in the province.

The decision to suspend hospital visitations was announced on Thursday night as the province continues to see thousands of new Covid-19 infections daily during the third wave.

On Thursday night, the national health department announced more than 11 000 new Covid-19 infections were recorded, with over 7400 of those new infections emanating from the Gauteng province.

The Johannesburg district accounts for over 2600 new infections, over 2000 in Tshwane and there were over 1200 new cases in Ekurhuleni.

Gauteng Health spokesperson Kwara Kekana said the hospitals would allow one visitor to see a patient for no more than 15 minutes, but only in “exceptional cases”.

As of Thursday night, more than 1.7 million South Africans have been infected with the coronavirus since March last year and over 58 000 people have succumbed to the virus.

Said Kekana: “Gauteng is currently experiencing the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and cases are increasing exponentially. This has put our public healthcare facilities under extreme pressure.

“As part of reducing the risk of our patients contracting the virus, visiting times for all healthcare facilities has been temporarily suspended.

Kekana said those who wished to see a patient in exceptional cases required permission from an attending doctor to authorise the visit. She said only one visitor would be allowed, for no more than 15 minutes.

“In exceptional cases, only one visitor will be allowed and such a visitor cannot spend more than 15 minutes with the patient,” she said on Friday.

“The visit in question must be pre-arranged with the attending doctor.

“All visitors must be screened for temperature of Covid-19 symptoms and the visitors must adhere to all Covid-19 protocols,” said Kekana.

To date, over 530 000 people in Gauteng have contracted the virus, with 7 486 new infections being recorded on Thursday night.

In Gauteng, the age groups that have had the lion’s share of Covid-19 infections are the 31-40 age group, with just under 130 000 infections, the 41-50 age group, with over 106 000 cases, and the 21-30 age group, with over 92 000 cases.

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