Over 300 workers at KZN hospital test positive for COVID-19

More than 300 workers have tested positive for the coronavirus in Durban's Albert Luthuli Hospital. It now has the most COVID-19 cases among healthcare workers in the province. There are claims that emergency patients aren’t being tested. Courtesy #DStv403

DURBAN - More than 300 workers at the Albert Luthuli Hospital in Durban have tested positive for the coronavirus.

There are claims emergency patients aren’t tested and workers allege their calls for staff shortages to be addressed have been ignored, claiming that this is contributing to the neglect of patients.

Unions are calling for swift action to be taken.

READ: SA ranked 5th globally for COVID-19 infections 

Denosa KZN Provincial Secretary Mandla Shabangu said over 300 nurses who have been infected.

“We are aware of the developments in the hospital and the high number of infections," Shabangu said.

“The other issue they are facing now is the issue of shortage of staff. You find that when people go in isolation they don’t get replaced.

READ: KZN sees surge in COVID-19 cases

"Those that are remaining are expected to nurse all those patients, including ICU patients which at some stage carry 10 patients, and you’ll find that there are only two nurses”.

Nehawu said patients arriving as emergencies are not screened, putting workers without full PPE at risk.

The unions are calling on the government to protect workers and provide them with easy access to testing.

READ: COVID-19: Denosa wants St Augustine's Hospital closed down

The health department says enough personal protective equipment has been supplied.

“The PPE that is given at a facility is the correct PPE at the level that they are in," said KZN Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane.

"So it’s not the whole hospital that is going to get an equal kind of PPE, it depends on the level of exposure”.

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Source
eNCA