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COVID-19 patients at Helen Joseph Hospital go 3 days without water

The internal medicine department at the Helen Joseph Hospital, which includes pulmonology, has nearly 300 patients, including COVID-19 patients, and said that it was unable to wash patients or give them drinking water.

A bakkie-load of water arrives at the Helen Joseph Hospital in Johannesburg after the facility ran out of water. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - COVID-19 patients are among hundreds of people who have been left dehydrated at the Helen Joseph Hospital, which has had no access to water for 72 hours.

The internal medicine department, which includes pulmonology, has nearly 300 patients, including COVID-19 patients, and said that it was unable to wash patients or give them drinking water.

A staff member added they were unable to wash their hands, and that patients complaining of thirst were getting dehydrated.

She said that there was also crucial equipment that could not be cleaned.

"... like dialysis for our kidney failure patients, and even cleaning the scanner, so we haven't been able to do any CT scans or MRIs on any of our patients who have COVID-19."

Joburg Water said on Friday that it was informed of the problem on Thursday night, and initially there was confusion that the interruption was at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital.

But the City of Joburg said that there was no problem with water supply going into the hospital, but engineers were on-site to find out why it was not going into taps.

Spokesperson Mlimandlela Ndamase: "However, we've also in the interim deployed a high-pressure truck to go an pump up water into the internal reservoirs of the hospital while the engineers and our technicians continue to check and establish what could be the disruption in the water supply."

Good samaritans have started helping with bottles of water.

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