Nurses at St Mary's hospital in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape, claim COVID-19 positive AND negative patients are sharing the same ward. In an exclusive interview, four nurses at the facility describe their fear for themselves, saying they were exposed when the first patient tested positive due to a lack of protective gear. The hospital denies the claims. eNCA's Aviwe Mtila brings you this story. Courtesy #DStv403
MTHATHA - Nurses at St Mary's hospital in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape claim COVID-19 positive and negative patients are sharing the same ward.
The nurses at the hospital are afraid that management is prioritising business over their lives.
They say more than a dozen of their colleagues have tested positive for COVID-19 -- and one person has died -- but the hospital is not willing to test the rest of the staff.
During the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak in South Africa, the nurses claim they were forced to go to work without protective gear.
The nurses say they also had direct contact with the first COVID-19 positive patient at the hospital.
Despite this, the nurses say they weren't tested.
One startling claim is that COVID-19 patients and those with other ailments are being mixed in a single ward.
Out of the four nurses eNCA spoke to, only one has been tested for the virus.
In an emailed response, St Mary’s Hospital denies these allegations.
It says it has reported all positive COVID-19 cases to the Health Department and says it's following the National Institute of Communicable Diseases' guidelines for testing staff.
It also says it has a designated ward for COVID-19 patients, while those patients under investigation are cared for in isolation until their test results come back.
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