Cape Town - Four clinical departments at the Tygerberg Hospital have been closed for sanitisation.
This comes after the Department of Employment and Labour (DEL) had visited the premises on Sunday to inspect the occupational health and safety measures in place to reduce the risk of transmission of the coronavirus (Covid-19).
The department's intervention comes after numerous trade unions called for the hospital to shut down due to safety risk and non-compliance of Covid-19 protocol.
The Western Cape Health Department’s spokesperson, Mark van der Heever, confirmed the closures and said the four areas identified by DEL for further action was the engineering department, kitchen, main stores and two offices in the admin block. Previously the health department mentioned that there were 293 Covid-19 infections at Tygerberg Hospital, with 178 recoveries.
Van der Heever said: “These areas will be cleaned today after which they will be allowed to function again. The hospital will also be completing an additional area risk assessment by and submit the outcomes of this to Labour.
“Tygerberg Hospital and the Department of Health in the Western Cape as a whole, remains committed to the safety of staff is a crucial priority. The area risk assessment will be completed and submitted within the timeframe,” he added.
In a statement released, the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) welcomed the closure.
Saftu lodged a complaint with the DEL on May 25 and protested alongside the National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers for the immediate intervention by the DEL.
“We see this as a victory for the unity of workers and an acknowledgement that the fight for the health and safety of workers requires the unity of worker organisation as this pandemic is not the time to act in a sectarian manner. It is testament to the adage of workers united will never be defeated.”