Staff claims lack of PPE at KZN hospital with 19 confirmed cases

The General Justice Gizenga Memorial Hospital in KwaDukuza, KwaZulu-Natal has been closed on Monday and will stop accepting new patients with immediate effect.

Staff claims lack of PPE at KZN hospital with 19 confirmed cases

This follows a laboratory confirmation of 19 COVID-19 cases at the hospital involving nine mothers, two babies, four doctors and one nurse.

The news on Monday 4 May that the hospital (formerly known as Stanger Hospital) will be closing came as a relief to many. One of the hospital’s staff members, who asked to remain anonymous, has revealed that they were exposed to patients who tested positive for the virus.

Lack of PPE and face masks

“The authorities in the hospital would hide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and face masks. They would only give these to medical doctors, while other staff members were told to perform their duties wearing their normal clothes,” according to the nurse.

“We raised our concerns with the matron’s office, but sadly nothing was done. The distribution of the masks were controlled in that office. The matron’s office closed at 16:00 and didn’t open on weekends. How were we supposed to even get face masks during weekend shifts?”

Tests withheld from hospital staff

The source also detailed how they were not allowed to be tested as they didn’t display any symptoms of COVID-19 despite being exposed to patients who had the virus.

“We were not allowed to get tested. If you were lucky to be tested, you were immediately told to go back to work instead of self-isolating for three days while waiting for the results.”

“My colleagues and I were even considering a protest just so our demands for a conducive and safe working environment could be met,” she added.

A KwaDukuza resident whose mother and aunt work at the hospital, also raised her concern about the conditions her mother and other healthcare workers work under.

“As a daughter to someone who worked in a very dangerous environment, I feared for her safety. We were also afraid that she might come back home with the virus and spread it within our family,” she said.

Urgent investigation by KZN health department

KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said: “As a department, we are extremely concerned by these developments, and have urgently exercised our constitutional obligation to prevent a further outbreak of the virus.

“We have instituted an urgent investigation by our Communicable Diseases Control and IPC experts which will seek to establish, among others, where the virus came from, and how it was able to spread at such a rapid rate within the hospital.” she added.

Serious cases needing a higher level of care and surgery will be diverted to the King Edward VIII Hospital in Durban.

The hospital’s management could not be reached for comment at the time of publishing.

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Source : The South African More   

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COVID-19: Confirmed cases in SA rise to 7 572, deaths increase by 10

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced that COVID-19 cases in South Africa increased by 352 on Tuesday 5 May.

COVID-19: Confirmed cases in SA rise to 7 572, deaths increase by 10

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, on Tuesday 5 May, announced that the confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Africa have risen to 7 572.  

This is an increase of 352, as the total number of confirmed cases stood at 7 220 on Monday 4 May. 

Mkhize also announced the latest death toll of 148 — an increase of 10 as it stood at 138 on Monday. 

A total of 268 064 tests have been conducted thus far.


The following confirmed COVID-19 cases have been detected in each province as of Tuesday: 

  • Gauteng – 1 697 cases;
  • Western Cape – 3 609 cases; 
  • KwaZulu-Natal – 1 142 cases; 
  • Free State – 128 cases; 
  • Eastern Cape – 838 cases; 
  • Limpopo – 40 cases; 
  • Mpumalanga – 57 cases; 
  • North West – 35 cases; 
  • Northern Cape – 26 cases; and 
  • Unknown – 0 cases.

The Western Cape is still the COVID-19 epicentre with the most positive cases in the country. 


The latest COVID-19 death toll in each province, according to Mkhize is as follows: 

  • Gauteng – 15 deaths;
  • Western Cape – 71 deaths; 
  • KwaZulu-Natal – 36 deaths; 
  • Free State – six deaths; 
  • Eastern Cape – 18 deaths; 
  • Limpopo – two deaths; 
  • Mpumalanga – 0 deaths; 
  • North West – 0 deaths; and 
  • Northern Cape – 0 deaths.  

This comes to a total of 148 deaths. The highest number of deaths was found in the Western Cape.

“Regrettably, we report 10 more COVID-19 related deaths; seven from Western Cape, one from Eastern Cape, one from KZN and one from Gauteng. This brings the total deaths nationally to 148”

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize


One of the ways COVID-19 is transferred is by hands which have come into contact with contaminated surfaces, objects or areas of the body.

“To echo the sentiments of our Honorable President Cyril Ramaphosa, who addressed us from KwaZulu-Natal today, the COVID-19 outbreak is giving us an opportunity, as humanity, to review our way of life and take forward all the important lessons we are learning into a new future,” said Mkhize.

“Washing hands saves lives. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly and regularly, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water or hand sanitizer,” he added.

This is a developing story, updates to follow 

Source : The South African More   

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