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Clinic staff refuse to return to posts after positive tests

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Allegations that facility was never decontaminated after two employees tested positive for Covid-19

File picture: Fernando Zhiminaicela/Pixabay

EMPLOYEES at the Platfontein Clinic on Monday refused to go back to work following allegations that the facility was never decontaminated after two employees had tested positive for Covid-19.

According to the co-ordinator for the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu), Godfrey Davids, staff members refused to return to their posts after they were forced to return to work by management.

“The two employees received their Covid-19 test results last Thursday. They were again expected to return to work on Friday. This was after they had informed management about their results. The two persons were working all day on Thursday after they had received their results.

“On Friday we intervened as a union and managed to get the two positive cases to be sent home. The two positive employees are currently in self-isolation at home. The employer never decontaminated the premises, yet employees were called to come to work,” said Davids.

He accused management of putting the health of the workers at risk.

“Two people who tested positive for Covid-19 were expected to return to work and were intimidated should they have refused. This is very negligent behaviour from management. Health workers are front-line workers yet their safety and health are not regarded as crucial.

“How will health care workers assist the public should they fall ill and die from this virus? Putting the health of employees at risk will cripple the health care sector. The department needs to deal harshly with individuals who do not abide by the Covid-19 protocols and regulations,” Davids said.

He added that workers will only return to work once all Covid-19 decontamination protocols have been completed.

Department of Health spokesperson Lebogang Majaha said the department called a meeting with the affected parties in an attempt to resolve the matter.