‘Tshwane mental health facilities safe despite infections’
Spokesperson Kwara Kekana said contracted facilities as well as four of the department’s specialised mental health facilities - Weskoppies, Sterkfontein, Tara H Moross Psychiatric Hospital and Cullinan Care and Rehabilitation Centre - were affected by the pandemic.
At Weskoppies in the city, 19 patients out of 699 tested positive for Covid-19. Of these, one person with an underlying illness died on June 15 and the second one was admitted to Tshwane District Hospital last Monday.
Kekana said eight staff members had tested positive and were in isolation, while 34 others were waiting for their results. The remaining 1165 tested negative.
Kekana said despite the infections at the facilities, all of them were still operating, yet extra care was being taken to assure patients’ safety.
She said similar to the protocols used in hospitals across the province, the facilities had set up dedicated Covid-19 wards to deal specifically with the cases and task teams were in place to advise the management and staff on hand.
Kekana said the department was closely monitoring the situation as a number of patients had comorbidities.
“Coupled with the inability of most patients to adhere to Covid-19 precautionary measures such as regular hand washing, cough etiquette, wearing of masks and maintaining physical distancing, this makes mental health care users to be among the most vulnerable group.”