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Soweto hospital slammed for 'starving' pregnant patient thought to have COVID-19

The ‘Sowetan’ reported on Thursday that Kgopotso Hlatshwayo (32) was isolated and left without food for three days after she showed flu-like symptoms.

Bheki Mlangeni Hospital. Picture: News.gauteng.gov.za

JOHANNESBURG - The Bheki Mlangeni District Hospital in Jabulani, Soweto, has once again come under fire, this time for allegedly withholding food from a pregnant woman thought to have contracted COVID-19.

The Sowetan reported on Thursday that Kgopotso Hlatshwayo (32) was isolated and left without food for three days after she showed flu-like symptoms.

“They were convinced that I’m coronavirus positive when I started to struggle to breathe and sneezed a lot. This is because I have a history of sinusitis,” she was quoted as saying.

Hlatshwayo was reportedly admitted at the hospital on 22 April for dizziness and fatigue due to pregnancy. She is eight months pregnant.

When she called her family complaining of hunger, they were allegedly denied access to her ward while her results were pending.

She then tested negative but told the paper that she was stigmatised in her community in Meadowlands and could not return home.

The Gauteng Health Department’s spokesperson Kwara Kekana said the hospital’s quality assurance unit had received a complaint from Hlatshwayo.

“A redress meeting was held on 22 May 2020 at the hospital regarding the complaint brought forward by the client and her concerns were addressed. Infection, prevention, and control guidelines are adhered to, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Kekana said.

“Food is served to various patients as per schedule and all admitted patients are provided with meals by the institution,” she added.

This was not the first time Bheki Mlangeni District Hospital has made headlines. In 2015, Eyewitness News revealed how a man died after waiting for two hours to be admitted because he did not have the R20 admission fee.

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