Doctors without borders against closing of healthcare facilities

Netcare Sunninghill Hospital, north of Johannesburg, has confirmed that the main theatre complex at the hospital was temporarily closed last week.

Doctors Without Borders says it’s not in favour of the closing of healthcare facilities after confirmation that healthcare workers tested positive for COVID-19. The organization says it’s working on ways to help government not to close such facilities.

The Netcare Sunninghill Hospital is the latest to shut down its theatre complex temporarily, after several staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

Spokesperson for Doctors Without Borders, Sean Christie, says, “This is a complex issue. Closing clinics reduces service delivery capacity of all services, and presents a major disturbance to communities. MSF is exploring ways of supporting the Department of Health to address this serious issue.”

Netcare Sunninghill Hospital, north of Johannesburg, has confirmed that the main theatre complex at the hospital was temporarily closed last week, after several staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

In a statement, the private hospital group says management took immediate action to contain a possible spread of the virus.

Netcare could not disclose detailed information on COVID-19 cases in the Group’s hospitals unless consent for this was given by the National Department of Health.

According to Sandile Mbele, Regional Director South West Region at Netacare, says tracking and tracing of healthcare workers, patients, staff members and doctors who were in contact with the staff members that tested positive for COVID-19, was immediately undertaken.

These measures include the testing, 14 days of monitoring and self-isolation for nursing, support staff as well as doctors, and re-testing once this quarantine period is completed.

Mbele has further explained in a statement that the theatre complex has been deep-cleaned, disinfected and decontaminated and has been closed for seven days as an additional precaution.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s total number of positive COVID-19 cases has risen by 831 to 14 355. In the last 24-hours, coronavirus-related fatalities have gone up by 14, bringing the total number to 261.

439 559 tests have been conducted so far. 18 004 of those were done in the last 24 hours, the Health Department has confirmed on Saturday.

The Eastern Cape and Western Cape made up 91% of the new cases.

Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize says, “We wish to express our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the health care workers who cared for the deceased.”