Coronavirus News Africa

Kingsway, St Augustine’s hospitals in KZN must follow strict conditions upon reopening – Zikalala

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala says Kingsway and St Augustine’s private hospitals will be allowed to reopen under strict conditions, following recent temporary closures due to coronavirus cases.

Netcare group, which owns both hospitals, confirmed on Saturday that both hospitals have been given the green light to reopen on Monday.

Speaking at a briefing broadcast live on Sunday, Zikalala said the hospitals would need to follow the regulations issued by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

He said personal protective equipment (PPE) would need to be issued to all staff, who would undergo Covid-19 training. A fever clinic would also be put in place.

World Health Organisation (WHO) and Department of Health guidelines would also need to be implemented and complied with. The provincial health department would monitor the facilities by making unannounced visits.

Kingsway Hospital closed for new admissions when 10 staff members tested positive last month, News24 reported.

St Augustine’s also closed earlier in April after at least 47 staff members tested positive.

The provincial health department, as well as Netcare, launched investigations and contact tracing, to find out how the infections happened.

General Justice Gizenga Mpanza Hospital in KwaZulu-Natal, a government hospital, also shut its doors after 16 people tested positive for Covid-19, Zikalala said.

Zikalala said nine mothers, two babies, four doctors and one nurse tested positive at the hospital.

19 new cases per day in KZN on average

Zikalala said there was on average 19 new laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 cases per day in the province, with eThekwini and iLembe district municipality leading the case numbers in the province.

Zikalala said there were 54 cases reported on Saturday.

The province has recorded a total of 1 307 positive cases, with 608 recoveries, and 43 deaths.

The province has conducted 47 012 tests, with 2 370 006 people screened.

Thirteen patients are currently in ICU for Covid-19, Zikalala said.

READ | Lockdown: More than 1 000 arrests in KZN as Zikalala appeals to public to follow regulations

Judging by the current patient load of the province, Zikalala said there was enough PPE in stock. However, more was needed as the province prepared for a “worst-case scenario”.

The province had also identified categories of healthcare staff to employ, in order to increase human resource capacity, Zikalala said.

It included professional nurses, enrolled nurses, general orderlies and administration support staff, who would be employed on a six-month contract to assist with managing patients.

As a precautionary measure, Zikalala also said members of the public with severe underlying medical conditions would be prioritised to receive dispensed medication outside of the healthcare system. This included people over 60 and those with TB, HIV, diabetes, mellitus and hypertension.

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