6 workers test positive for COVID-19 at Netcare’s Kingsway Hospital

All new patient admissions at Kingsway Hospital have been halted indefinitely.

Netcare's Kingsway Hospital in Amanzimtoti in KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: www.netcarehospitals.co.za

DURBAN/JOHANNESBURG - Six health workers have tested positive for COVID-19 at Netcare’s Kingsway Hospital in Amanzimtoti.

This comes just a week after 48 health workers were infected at another Netcare facility in eThekwini.

KwaZulu-Natal health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said the hospital group had become a major cause for concern.

All new patient admissions at Kingsway Hospital have been halted indefinitely.

The trauma unit has also been closed.

MEC Simelane-Zulu officials have noticed certain anomalies at the hospital.

“We’re laso aware that the hospital itself has not tested all healthcare workers as they should have, so the Department of Health has gone in and is advising them that we need t bring in everyone first.”

Netcare has traced the outbreak to a patient who was admitted after a stroke earlier this month.

All patients and health workers who may have come into contact with the patient have been tested and isolated.

The hospital group said it had hired independent epidemiologists to look into the outbreak.

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Meanwhile, Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku said the outbreak of COVID-19 at private hospitals was cause for concern.

In recent days in at least two provinces, three hospitals belonging to the Netcare and Mediclinic Groups respectively have recorded a number of staff infections.

Masuku said they were working to identify what was behind this trend.

He said they were looking into the outbreak of COVID-19 at some private hospitals because this could have an impact on the already overburdened health care system.

“The report from the St Augustine’s Hospital [in KwaZulu-Natal], we still want to see but investigations are continuing. With the case from Mediclinic [in Sandton], we have formed a joint team to cover those who are contacts and cover those who are infected.”

Masuku said health workers were the first line of defence, so they had to be protected at all costs.

The MEC said testing and tracing of potential COVID-19 cases would be intensified.