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Kingsway Hospital Shuts Emergency Dept, Halts Admissions After COVID-19 Outbreak

DURBAN – Netcare has closed its emergency department and stopped all new patient admissions at its Kingsway Hospital in Amanzimtoti in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak at the facility.

The group instituted a similar move last week at its St Augustine’s Hospital, also in KwaZulu-Natal, before deciding to shut down the facility completely.

Netcare said that it had traced the outbreak to a patient who was admitted at the facility on 4 April.

The patient did not display any symptoms of COVID-19 when he was initially admitted, however, after displaying flu-like symptoms he was tested and it emerged last week Wednesday that he had the virus.

Netcare said that it had traced all healthcare workers who may have interaced with the person who tested positive for COVID-19 at its Kingsway Hospital and has asked them to self-quarantine.

The group said that all potentially exposed patients had also been tested.

The group refused to detail the number of patients and health workers who had tested positive at the facility despite having done so with the St Augustine’s matter.

Netcare now said that only the Department of Health and the NICD could reveal the statistics.

Trade union Nehawu has called on the Health Department to intervene.

The union’s KwaZulu-Natal secretary Ayanda Zulu: “The Department of Health is not reigning over the private health sector which we think it thinks that it has a monopoly over health.”

Meanwhile, the department’s Sandile Tshabalala said that a team had been deployed to the hospital on Wednesday to investigate the outbreak.

At the same time, KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said the latest coronavirus outbreak at Kingsway Hospital was extremely concerning.

Simelane-Zulu said she was looking into how Netcare was handling the matter at the hospital.

The MEC’s spokesperson Noluthando Shezi said: “We will continue to monitor the situation and we expect consequence management if negligence is found on the part of the hospital.”