The Pampierstad clinic will only open next week after 10 apparent Covid-19 cases were reported.
TEN COVID-19 cases were apparently reported at the Nomimi Mothibi Clinic in Pampierstad, which has been closed and is only expected to reopen next week.
The provincial organiser of the South African Liberated Public Servants Workers Union (Salipswu), Thapelo Thole, said that the clinic was supposed to reopen on Wednesday this week. “We welcome the proactive decision taken by the facility manager to delay the reopening of the clinic until next week, due to the high infection rate. Among the positive cases are nurses, Covid-19 screeners, cleaners and community health care workers. Some of the staff members are still waiting for their test results,” said Thole.
Thole believed that the delays in the release of test results was detrimental in trying to curb the Covid-19 infection rate. “After nine days, some staff members are still waiting for the outcome of their results.”
The Democratic Nurses Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) provincial organiser, Vincent Phuroe, stated that they were aware of 10 positive cases at the Nomimi Mothibi Clinic. “A nurse who was employed at the Pampierstad Community Healthcare Centre passed away last week after being diagnosed with Covid-19. A nurse at the Florianville (Floors) Clinic is in quarantine after testing positive. Her results were received on August 17 after the clinic was decontaminated on August 14.”
The spokesperson for the Northern Cape Department of Health, Lebogang Majaha, said that the department did not force health facilities to close in the event of a positive Covid-19 case.
“We identify affected areas that require deep-cleaning. Deep-cleaning is mainly required for a specific area in the work environment that was occupied by a person who was diagnosed with Covid-19 to enable reoccupation of the affected area as soon as possible,” said Majaha.
He indicated that the Nomimi Mothibi Clinic in Pampierstad was deep-cleaned on August 15 in line with the national Department of Health guidelines. “It will be operational on Monday. All staff tested have received their results.”
Majaha stated that the district outbreak response team was assisting with the rearrangement of the service delivery plan.
“Daily briefings on Covid-19 will be done before the resumption of duty. There are no new cases at Pampierstad Community Health Clinic and Floors Clinic and both facilities are fully operational.”
Denosa, meanwhile, held a national candlelight ceremony yesterday to commemorate the sacrifices made by nurses who died after contracting Covid-19.
Denosa provincial secretary Anthony Vassen stated that seven nurses in the Northern Cape had passed away after falling ill due to the coronavirus.
“Most of our members tested positive in the line of duty as they fall in the high-risk exposure group and work in close contact with patients.”
He added that the number of health care workers in the Province who had become infected with the virus had exceeded the 100 case mark.
“Almost all of the health care workers who tested positive have since recovered although nurses are still greatly affected.”
Vassen indicated that Denosa had recommended that all front-line workers be given disposable gowns to wear over their clothing.
“There is a possibility that the virus can cling to a person’s clothing, so even if they are wearing personal protective clothing they can still become infected. Many institutions have started to implement the use of disposable gowns although it is not always possible due to a shortage of personal protective clothing.”