Patients hoping to see their doctors at Netcare’s St Augustine’s hospital in Durban were turned away after the hospital’s trauma unit was temporarily shut down in the early hours of Friday morning.
A Durban resident, who asked not to be named, said she had an appointment with her doctor who has rooms at the hospital and she was told by security that she would not be able to see her doctor.
“No one is allowed to enter or leave the trauma unit,” the woman said.
Incoming patients have been sent to other hospitals.
In a text message purported to be from the hospital’s CEO Heinrich Venter, doctors were informed that the hospital had a positive Covid-19 case.
“We are embarking on an extensive program to swab all doctors, staff and patients which has commenced tonight with the staff that are on duty and will be extended to all tomorrow. In addition, we are seeking to restrict access to the hospital and have placed the hospital on divert and closed the Emergency Department.
“Please assist us by limiting any consultations beyond 12pm on Friday and where possible deferring to a later date. We acknowledge that these measures will be disruptive to our doctors, staff and our community and we apologise for the inconvenience but we believe these measures are absolutely necessary. We commit to communicating on a daily basis. Regards Heinrich,” the message read.
Speaking during a media briefing on Friday, KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala confirmed that an Umlazi teacher has since died from Covid-19 died at a private hospital.
Zikalala did not name the hospital, however, he said 20 health workers were screened and 11 tested positive for Covid-19. He said it was possible that the hospital will be shut down while tracer teams work to find any others who may have had contact with the deceased.
However, News24 understands to be St Augustine’s Hospital in Durban after visiting the institution.
The CEO of the Netcare Group said on Friday. Three people have died of Covid-19 at Saint Augustine’s Hospital.
“In the last 72 hours, three patients have tragically passed away from Covid-19 at Netcare St Augustine’s Hospital. We extend our most sincere and heartfelt condolences to the patients’ loved ones and pray for them in this time of great loss and sadness.”