KZN govt: UKZN didn’t consult Mkhize before releasing St Augustine's report

The researchers conducted an independent investigation into the outbreak at the facility.

KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu. Picture: Nkosikhona Duma/EWN.

DURBAN - The KwaZulu-Natal government is not happy that researchers from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) released a report into the COVID-19 outbreak at Netcare’s St Augustine’s Hospital in Durban before consulting Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize.

The researchers conducted an independent investigation into the outbreak at the facility.

In their findings, they said that investigations had concluded that at least 119 people were infected with the coronavirus at the hospital between 9 March and 30 April.

KZN Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu on Thursday said that the conduct of UKZN was unfortunate given that Mkhize did not even want the university to investigate the outbreak at St Augustine’s Hospital in the first place.

“The minister had requested a particular group of professionals to do the investigation not the institution. Now, having said that, I think once the minister has read the report, he will be the one who will be leading us in responding,” she said.

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) has also lambasted both the university and Netcare, saying that the report was a cover-up of the healthcare group’s negligence.

“We want the report to tell us what is it that Netcare did not do to prevent that infection from the patient that infected workers and other patients,” said Denosa provincial secretary Mandla Shabangu.

Meanwhile, Nehawu’s Ayanda Zulu said they were also disappointed because the report failed to outline any consequence management by the hospital.

Netcare has not yet responded to the criticism.

Report the full report below:

Media Statement by Ukzn Team by Primedia Broadcasting on Scribd

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

The earlier version of this article stated that researchers were appointed by Netcare to investigate infections at the facility. This has since been corrected after clarity was received from Netcare.