Several nurses at the well-known Netcare Linksfield Hospital in eastern Johannesburg reportedly tested positive for COVID-19, according to The South African.
A nurse working at the hospital claimed that up to 15 staff members, many apparently from the ICU, had tested positive. News 24 reported that the information was given to it by the nurse, who asked to remain anonymous.
The nurse alleged that deep cleaning had not taken place at the facility and that keeping the unit open was problematic and worrying to them (nursing staff) because “clearly there is a problem with the ICU itself”.
In a response to News24, the hospital denied this, and said its management took immediate and comprehensive action to prevent the spread after a “few staff members tested positive for Covid-19 on the same day”.
“In consultation with staff members at the hospital, we decided to implement preventative surveillance screening after a staff member tested positive for Covid-19, which is believed to have been community-acquired. We have been extremely vigilant and have acted with an abundance of caution in preventing the spread,” the hospital said.
In an open letter to the community, a group of concerned frontline physicians at Netcare Linksfield Hospital have warned about the dangers of “reckless”, “irresponsible” and “imprudent” behaviour by members of the community who are “ignoring the gravity of the situation”.
According to the SA Jewish Report, the no-holds-barred letter from doctors Carron Zinman, Anton Meyberg, Andre Pieterse, Sharon Goldburgh, Zaheer Laher, and Ian Hunt outlined the severity of the situation.
“The number of admissions related to COVID-19 have increased dramatically and both the COVID high care/intensive-care unit, as well as the COVID general ward, have a much higher number of patients than a mere three weeks ago,” the letter said.
“Ironically, as the numbers rise and healthcare workers become more anxious, people seem to be behaving recklessly. Instead of being even more vigilant about wearing masks, maintaining social distance, and washing/sanitising their hands, they are showing an alarming tendency to make their own rules.”
The doctors further warn: “A time is coming where beds will not be as readily available, personal protective equipment will be more difficult to acquire, and healthcare workers will be burnt out. It’s an exhausting way to practice medicine for nurses, doctors and allied health workers who have all uncomplainingly just waded in.”
Source: The South African