100 patients, 6 employees test positive for COVID-19 at Witrand hospital
BRITS, North West – According to North West MEC for Health Madoda Sambatha, 100 patients and six staff at the Witrand Hospital in Potchefstroom have tested positive for COVID-19.
Sambatha met with the management at the facility after employees said they feared they would contract the virus while on duty due to what they claim to be management’s failure to deal with infections among staff and patients since the beginning of the month.
In his media briefing in Potchefstroom on Friday afternoon, the MEC said there were several interventions since March, including keeping all patients from leaving the facility in this period and testing both staff and patients.
“Samples were then taken from 238 people made up of 202 patients and 36 staff members. This was prompted by the nature of patients and inability to maintain social distancing and wearing of masks,” the MEC said.
A staff member at Witrand, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal, said the bulk of cases came from ward 3 at the facility.
"All the cleaners from ward 3 won't work, all staff in ward 3 won't work, all permanent staff at ward 3 won't work because this is where there are many cases. ”
Sambatha confirmed there were over 100 positive cases.
“Out of 100 patients who tested positive, 81 are from ward 03 and 19 from ward 04. From the six staff members, two stay in Gauteng and travel between the two provinces. Gauteng province has been informed in this regard.”
He confirmed that personal protection equipment (PPE) was available at the facility, but the worker who spoke to Eyewitness News said they were only given one mask to use throughout the day and that the safety of support staff at the facility was not being prioritised.
“No one from management speaks with us, we are not seen. People are scared of being victimised for speaking out. ”
Sambatha said PPE was monitored for any stock-outs according to operational requirements. He added that frontline workers were provided with face shields as an extra precaution measure.
This article first appeared on EWN : 100 patients, 6 employees test positive for COVID-19 at Witrand hospital
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