DURBAN – South Africa now has 1585 cases of coronavirus infections, and nine confirmed deaths, health minister Zweli Mkhize said in a statement on Saturday night. Gauteng, Kwazulu-Natal and Western Cape account for the majority of cases.
Of the new cases in KwaZulu-Natal, three deaths are linked to the St Augustine’s Hospital; these are patients, health workers and staff members. Sections of the hospital have now been closed and no new patients will be admitted.
“The areas that were exposed to positive patients are also being disinfected. At this stage more than 150 tests have been conducted within the hospital and contact tracing is underway. We have advised that more tests be done on both staff and patients in order to determine the true extent of the existence of the infection in the facility, which may call for further interventions,” read the statement.
The department has also made an appeal to the public that if you were a patient at the hospital from 1 March 2020 to date, you’re requested to contact the KZN Department of Health.
“This is a precautionary measure to allow for a thorough identification of areas within the hospital where there may have been infection control lapses. We convey our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the deceased,” read the statement.
According to the National Department of Health, more than 53 900 tests have been conducted so far. Mass screenings are currently underway in vulnerable communities across the country.
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