The union also called on community health care workers who had recently reported to the affected health facilities to self-isolate.
WHILE the Galeshewe Day Hospital was apparently closed for disinfection purposes on Friday, it was reported that the maternity wing was still operating, while repair work was continuing on the section of the building that was gutted by fire.
The day hospital and two clinics in Galeshewe have been temporarily shut following suspected Covid-19 infections this week.
Damages amounting to an estimated R16 million was caused when the records room and clinic section at the Galeshewe Day Hospital burnt down in 2017, where contractors are currently on site.
The provincial organiser of the South African Liberating Public Service Workers Union (Salipswu), Thapelo Thole, stated on Friday that the entire premises at the day hospital should be placed under quarantine.
“Many of the construction workers on the site are women. Why are repairs taking place now when people are being placed at risk of infection, when the fire damage was caused to the building three years ago?”
Thole also called on community health care workers who had recently reported to the affected health facilities to self-isolate.
“They should not conduct any door-to-door screening until they have received the outcome of their Covid-19 test results. The community health care workers should also not submit the results of the door-to-door programmes to the respective clinics until the quarantine period has passed.
“If they have been infected, the community will also be exposed to the virus. The unions will ensure that they continue to receive their stipends while they are in self-quarantine.”
Thole stated that groundsmen at the Betty Gaetsewe Clinic in Galeshewe also wanted to undergo testing and be placed in self-isolation for the next 14 days as Covid-19 testing was taking place outside the clinic this week. “Extra precautions need to be taken because this virus is not easily managed.”
The Department of Health has not responded to requests for comment.