61 medical and support staff at two Durban hospitals test positive for COVID-19

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KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu has confirmed that 61 health care staff, including doctors, nurses and clerks, tested positive for COVID-19 at RK Khan Hospital and Addington Hospital in the past fortnight.

"Over the past few hours, we have been inundated with media enquiries containing allegations of health-care workers and support staff being infected with COVID-19, at various hospitals in and around eThekwini district. We have also noted correspondence being widely distributed on social media, purportedly by staff, among others, alluding to these infections.

"It is with a deep sense of concern that we, indeed, confirm a significant rise in COVID-19 infections among health workers, which has become noticeable in recent weeks." Simelane-Zulu said 38 staff members had tested positive for COVID-19 at Addington Hospital since the beginning of December. Among them were five doctors, 11 nurses, one allied worker and 21 members of support stuff.

She said the hospital had not been shut down and was accepting walk-in patients. "Only those who are picked up by ambulance are being diverted to Prince Mshiyeni Memorial and King Edward VIII hospitals," she said.

"At RK Khan Hospital, the total number of staff who have tested positive is 23, which is made up of seven nurses, 10 doctors, two radiologists, three clerks and one general orderly. RK Khan Hospital is also open and rendering health-care services, while following strict infection prevention and control protocols."

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