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St Augustine's Hospital closed as 48 staffers test positive for COVID-19

KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulusays all the patients will be tested regardless of why they were admitted.

Infected patient respirator ICU Covid-19 virus 123rf

The St Augustine's Hospital in Berea Durban, has been identified as a hotspot for the novel coronavirus infections in the province.

Out of the 66 people who tested positive for COVID-19, 48 of those positives have been staff members, this is according to Health minister Zweli Mkhize.

RELATED: COVID-19 cases reach 1,749 and SA has has 13 deaths confirmed

Bongani Bingwa speaks to KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu and to shed more light to the situation.

We have been worried about the hospital for a number of days now, the biggest issue is that the cases we got from there were not initially reported. These were cases that were admitted into the hospital without being tested properly for COVID-19 and they were tested for pneumonia without following proper protocol of testing for COVID-19.

Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, Health MEC - KwaZulu-Natal

There seem to be similar concern that the government has with a number of private facilities who are not reporting COVID-19 cases accurately or as they should, she says.

When we went into the hospital, we realised that the problem could be bigger than initially anticipated. We decided to randomly test its healthcare workers and out of the first 20 we tested, 11 came back positive. We have tested everyone and already we are on 48 healthcare workers that have been exposed.

Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, Health MEC - KwaZulu-Natal

The facility will be closed and all the patients in the hospital will be tested regardless of why they were in the hospital, Simelane-Zulu adds.

Those whose results come back negative will be moved to other facilities but those who test positive will stay in the facility and be treated there.

Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, Health MEC - KwaZulu-Natal

Listen below to the full conversation:

This article first appeared on 702 : St Augustine's Hospital closed as 48 staffers test positive for COVID-19