Fears for elderly as more COVID-19 deaths reported at old age homes

Over the past few weeks, at least five people living at three old age homes have died and others have been infected.

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CAPE TOWN - There are fears that many old age homes may be affected by COVID-19 amid more reports of deaths and outbreaks.

Over the past few weeks, at least five people living at three old age homes have died and others have been infected.

Staff are also at risk and dozens have been already contracted the disease.

Geriatrician Leon Geffen said that once the coronavirus hit an old age home, about half its residents could be infected.

This is particularly concerning since the elderly are more vulnerable to the coronavirus.

"People with co-existing illnesses, things like high blood pressure, diabetes, lung diseases. People who are residents in nursing homes or residential care facilities."

He said that the availability of test kits and delays in test results made it difficult to curb the spread of the virus in these facilities.

These sentiments are echoed by the Highlands House Cape Jewish Aged Home, where one COVID-19 positive resident died almost two weeks ago.

Over 400 people at the facility have now been tested and 12 residents and 26 staff members tested positive so far.

Three residents at the Nazareth House in Vredehoek and one resident at the Sen-Cit Resthaven in Strand have also died after contracting the virus.

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