File picture: AP Photo/Rahmat Gul
File picture: AP Photo/Rahmat Gul

North West hospital's maternity unit staff down tools after doctor tests positive

By IOL reporter Time of article published May 13, 2020

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Medical staff at the Mahikeng Provincial Hospital maternity unit in North West have downed tools after a doctor tested positive for Covid-19.

The Department of Health said on Wednesday it had begun a process of tracing contacts of the doctor, who has a private practice and also works at Victoria Private Hospital.

The contacts include 22 staff members, two doctors and 21 patients at Victoria Hospital, as well as 104 patients at his private practice. At Mahikeng Hospital, the doctor had contact with 12 doctors, 29 nurses and 70 patients.

The SABC reported that Mahikeng Hospital maternity unit workers are crying foul over being forced to continue with their job after the doctor tested positive on Monday. Workers claim only seven staff members were tested, while others were told to continue working.

They feared their lives and those of the patients might be at risk after the hospital management allegedly told them they would disinfect the ward in the presence of the staff and patients today.

The Health Department has successfully traced 690 of the 722 contacts – a success rate of 96% – of the 51 confirmed Covid-19 cases in North West, which has only had one fatality. This represents a success rate of nearly 96%.  

Only three of the contacts have tested positive for Covid-19 in North West. A total of 466 contacts have completed 14 days monitoring period, the Health Department said.


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