Netcare Sunninghill Hospital today confirmed that the main theatre complex at the hospital was temporarily closed last week after several staff members tested positive for COVID-19.
The hospital management took immediate action to contain a possible spread of the infection.
According to Sandile Mbele, regional director South West Region, tracking and tracing of healthcare workers, patients, staff members and doctors who were in contact with the staff members was immediately undertaken, as well as the development of a risk management process, in conjunction with an independent epidemiologist.
“These measures include the testing of all who may have had contact with the affected staff members, 14 days of monitoring and self-isolation for nursing and support staff as well as doctors, with Netcare’s assistance where required, and re-testing once this quarantine period is completed.
“The theatre complex has been deep-cleaned, disinfected and decontaminated and we have deployed ultraviolet disinfection robots which have proved highly effective in destroying viruses, bacteria and fungal spores in healthcare facilities throughout the theatre. The theatre complex has been closed for seven days as an additional precaution and will re-open this week,” he explained.
Mbele confirmed that 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.
Comprehensive measures in place to safeguard patients and staff
We have been cooperating closely with the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and the Department of Health on an ongoing basis and have aligned our clinical protocols for managing COVID-19 patients directly with their clinical guidelines.
In addition, we are continuously conducting training in our Group’s facilities in accordance with the DoH and NICD guidelines and have implemented comprehensive measures to detect, identify and respond appropriately to any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 at all of our Group’s facilities, including Netcare Sunninghill Hospital.
“In line with our principle of taking an abundance of care to safeguard all who work and are cared for at our facilities, Netcare hospitals do daily risk assessments and screening, including temperature, of all persons at the hospitals’ premises, including staff members, doctors, contract service providers, persons coming for doctor consultations or for radiological investigations, as well as the few visitors with special exemption. Unfortunately, it has been shown that COVID-19 can be transmitted by carriers before they show symptoms that can be tested for, hence the decision to risk assess and screen staff and others working at the hospital every day. Where risk is indicated, testing is then undertaken to minimise the risk of COVID-19 spreading into our facility.
“As we have seen globally, COVID-19 is a highly virulent and contagious virus. Therefore, taking swift and comprehensive action when a case is identified, is of key importance in containing the spread thereof,” said Mbele.
“Patients, staff members and doctors practising at the hospital have been informed of the situation and are supportive of the precautionary measures taken by the hospital,” concluded Mbele.
Issued by: MNA on behalf of Netcare Sunninghill Hospital
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