DURBAN – Five staff members of King Edward VIII Hospital have tested positive for Covid-19. KZN Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu announced on Monday, that they will not be embarking on the wholesale closure of the hospital, despite calls attributed to staff to have the hospital closed.
“We wish to reiterate, as we have previously stated, that we will not be embarking on the wholesale closure of every healthcare facility where staff test positive. That approach is unsustainable. Instead, we are guided by the extent of infections, based on a formal risk assessment study, in line with guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO) on the clinical management of Covid-19,” said Simelane-Zulu.
According to the MEC, hospital management is currently conducting the risk assessment study, which will consider, among other factors:
where the infection took place, when it happened, who was infected and who their contacts were.
“Our intervention going forward will be based on findings from that investigation. The decision on whether to close the theatre, or any other part of the hospital, will be determined by the number of positive tests and extent of the building’s exposure to the virus,” she said.
In addition Simelane-Zulu said as government, they have a paramount responsibility to provide all the equipment and gear that is necessary to prevent the transmission of the virus within the hospital setting; between patients and staff – and among staff themselves. However, both staff and patients have their own responsibility to adhere to safety precautions.
“We appeal to them to use their PPE correctly, and at all times. They must leave nothing to chance, because any person or area within a hospital setting is a potential carrier of Covid-19,” she said.
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