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Mediclinic Morningside closes new admissions as 15 staff contract Covid-19

More than 100 ‘potential contacts’ have been tested after a staff member tested positive for the virus.
Morningside Mediclinic in Sandton Central. Image: Supplied

JSE-listed hospital group Mediclinic on Wednesday closed new admissions at its Morningside Mediclinic facility in SA’s financial hub of Sandton after 15 staff tested positive for the coronavirus.

This was confirmed to Moneyweb in a statement released by Dr Stefan Smuts, chief clinical officer at Mediclinic Southern Africa. He also noted that the hospital is currently treating four Covid-19 patients.

Smuts said more than 100 potential contacts had been tested after a staff member tested positive for Covid-19. Most of the tests returned “negative results”.

The closure of all new admissions, barring medical emergencies, at Mediclinic’s landmark Morningside facility follows fellow JSE-listed medical giant, Netcare Group, closing new admissions late last month at its flagship St Augustine’s Hospital in Durban after an outbreak of Covid-19 among some 47 staff.

Read: KZN health dept shuts down Netcare hospital

“Currently four patients and 15 staff members have tested positive, nine of which are healthcare workers [at Morningside Mediclinic],” said Smuts.

“The staff members in question are all currently in isolation and will remain so until they are fully recovered,” he said.

“As the safety of our patients, staff and doctors is our number one priority, Mediclinic has intensified both internal and external processes guiding our response. In accordance with our stringent protocols, Mediclinic immediately reviewed the situation to identify, as a matter of urgency, all staff, doctors and patients potentially exposed,” he added.

Smuts noted that the National Department of Health also has firm processes in place governing contact tracing of those exposed to a positive individual.

“Mediclinic acted swiftly in order to mitigate the risk to all involved and we can assure the community that we have established procedures relating to staff exposure, the risk thereof and testing. Testing has been expanded and will continue until everyone on site has been tested, including all patients, doctors, employees and service providers based at the hospital,” he said.

Smuts pointed out that Mediclinic had introduced stringent measures to reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19 at all its hospitals, including Mediclinic Morningside.

“Mediclinic Morningside is a centre of excellence with a proud reputation as a leading healthcare facility, known for its excellent service and respected by our profession in South Africa and abroad. Mediclinic prides itself on the high standards of care that are always provided and will be maintained at Mediclinic Morningside,” he stressed.

Mediclinic noted in its statement that the group strictly adheres to Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) protocols, as laid out by the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) and World Health Organisation (WHO).

“As such, to ensure the safety of our patients, doctors and staff, we will continue with our containment plan which entails conducting a strict proactive three-day risk assessment at the hospital from today [Wednesday] until 17 April,” said Smuts.

“During this period of assessment, testing and deep sanitation, no new admissions apart from emergencies will be accepted at the facility to allow all necessary protocols to be followed. Mediclinic has implemented human resources policies and procedures to address healthcare worker exposure, testing and infection, including the appropriate use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in accordance with the NICD and WHO and recently published National Department of Health IPC guidelines,” he said.

Read: SA coronavirus cases rise by 143 to 2 415

Meanwhile, South Africa’s confirmed number of Covid-19 cases as at Tuesday, stood at 2 415. The number of coronavirus-linked deaths stood at 27, with 12 in KwaZulu-Natal, eight in the Western Cape, four in Gauteng and three in the Free State province.

More than 87 000 people have been tested across the country. Of the positive cases, Gauteng remains the epicentre with 909 cases, followed by the Western Cape with 643 and KwaZulu-Natal with 489.

Source: National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD)/ Department of Health

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One wonders, if hospital personnel can get Corona so easily, with their protection measures in place, if all these protection measures really work? Every time a hospital worker gets Corona they close the hospital. Soon all the hospitals will be closed.

This is the most worrying aspect. Since the Guavament forced the closure of St Augustines the private health facilities will now respond like this- Virus or not — God help us all !!

This is probably like the East London prison infected person.

She went off to a funeral???

You can wear PPE at work, but off duty? What happens there?

Brilliant private health care for you!

Unbelievable that nobody could learn from the Chinese or Italians..

its just the flue, we are africans we a tough?

Doesn’t look good for government hospitals.

hahaha well sofar what x2 privates hospitals gone..
and for what looking after shareholders value?

When watching the news of the various hospital staff busy with something take note how many of them are not masked or have gloves on. Not one or two but many of them don’t wear protective items.

So let’s test in all the hospitals. Are we going to close all down?

Nah only private hospitals will close !!!

There is no avoidance – only the delay of the inevitable. This delay should be fully utilised to learn and improve the methods of dealing with this fearfully unknown threat. If there is no improvement then the lock-down delay has little value but it has a terrible, devastating cost.
The impact of the lock-down is prospectively going to reap many more souls than the virus. It is insane to think that the lock-down will see the virus pass over our heads and go away for ever.
This is no place for decision makers that are amateur or functionally narrow. The subjects involved go way beyond the medical. Medical experts cannot see the total scope of the human impact picture. What is needed is that the best in their field need to gather and form an advisory team to speak to and firmly advise power. Certainly no place for prima donnas.
So what has SA got? As the infection rate appears to increase so the lock-down is extended. Absolute suicide far worse than a realistic 0.08% death rate for total population is ever going to be worth. The extension of lock-down guarantees multiples of what is to be expected from this totally overblown virus.

What arae you talking about?

Didn’t China and Italy give any hint of what is required? everybody so stupid that they personally have to wait and fail to learn something in this crisis..

According to the same logic that brought us lockdown, we should now shut all hospitals and open all businesses and gyms, and o yes, bottle stores.
It is clear that nobody should go anywhere near a ventilator. To drink and smoke is much safer.

To think that they even ban surfers from exercising social distancing in the sea! This closure of beaches is pure unadulterated insanity. Beaches are the only places that are safe. Safer than hospitals anyway, and hospitals are open. Ad-hoc measures and arbitrary decisions from clueless and reactive officials.

Well ja Sensei – It must be noted though that far fewer people die on the beach than in their own beds ne !!!

Guess no one briefed them that Corona tests should be done in a completely separate building or facility. Guess no one is insisting on everyone having to be masked, hands sprayed with alcohol and temperature checks for the regular hospital building.

The virus literally walked through the door and the hospital became a spread hub.

If this easy, just imagine the government hospitals and clinics nationwide.

End of comments.

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