Unions shut down parts of Tygerberg Hospital

After labour inspectors, along with unions, conducted a thorough inspection of Tygerberg Hospital, parts of the institution have been shuttered. Courtesy of #DStv403

CAPE TOWN - One of the largest dedicated COVID-19 hospitals in South Africa has had its entire kitchen and three other areas shut down with immediate effect.

After labour inspectors -- along with unions -- conducted a thorough inspection of Tygerberg Hospital, parts of the institution have been shuttered.

Unions last week raised concerns about the hospital not following COVID-19 procedures.

READ: Unions call for Tygerberg Hospital to shut down

Three hundred Tygerberg hospital staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 so far. 

These include nurses, 20 kitchen staff, and several in the engineering department. 

Unions say the hospital has a direct potential of becoming a major breeding ground for the virus. 

READ: COVID-19: Tygerberg Hospital workers test positive​​​​​​​

Following a thorough inspection, the Provincial Chief Labour Inspector found the hospital to be in violation of a number of Occupational Health and Safety measures to address COVID-19 issues.

Tygerberg Hospital CEO Dr Dimitri Erasmus said an order was issued for four non-clinical areas to be closed.

"Those areas are the engineering department, the kitchen, main stores and two offices in the admin building. Once we have deep-cleaned those areas and provided evidence that this had been deep-cleaned, the department of labour will consider reopening those areas," Erasmus said.

READ: COVID-19: Western Cape changes testing policy​​​​​​​

Long-term issues have also been identified that requires further discussions, like the overcrowding in the trauma unit due to its design.

"I just want to indicate that we are deeply concerned about staff safety at this institution and will ensure that all measures are in place and become compliant and that the staff are safe," Erasmus said.

Labour inspectors also ordered the closure of the kitchen at the Ceres hospital after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19 there.

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