Nehawu claims another KZN Netcare facility facing COVID-19 outbreak

The healthcare group is already dealing with outbreaks at its St Augustine's Hospital and Kingsway Hospital where it implemented partial shutdowns.

Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

DURBAN – The National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) on Tuesday claimed that another Netcare facility in KwaZulu-Natal could be facing a coronavirus outbreak.

The healthcare group is already dealing with outbreaks at its St Augustine's Hospital and Kingsway Hospital where it implemented partial shutdowns.

Netcare also temporarily closed its emergency department for walk-ins at its Parklands Hospital in Durban where Nehawu claimed that at least one health worker had tested positive for COVID-19.

Netcare said that only emergency cases brought in by ambulance and patients under the care of their specialists would be attended to at Parklands Hospital.

The group would not be drawn on whether there was an outbreak of COVID-19 at the facility, saying only that the Department of Health and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) had the authority to communicate this.

Nehawu KZN secretary Ayanda Zulu said they feared healthcare workers at Parklands Hospital were at risk.

“The modus operandi at St Augustine's Hospital and Kingsway Hospital, as well as Parklands Hospital, is the same. They just don’t come out clean [and] everything must be exposed through the media. We are calling on the Department of Health to exert its authority over private health,” he said.

Netcare said it had never expected any of its staff to work without protective gear.

The health group insisted that its safety measures were far better than those recommended by the Department of Health, the NICD and the World Health Organisation.

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.