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Mother describes Covid ordeal

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According to the mother of the teenager, they lived through seven days of trauma and is currently experiencing stigmatisation because of the ordeal.

THE PARENTS of a 13-year-old Vergenoeg teenager are fuming after their son was admitted to Harmony Home without them having concrete proof that their child had tested positive for Covid-19.

According to the mother of the teenager, they lived through seven days of trauma and is currently experiencing stigmatisation because of the ordeal.

“I received a message from my sister on July 2 saying that she had contracted Covid-19 and I must take my son to be tested. My son had been with my sister, my uncle and his son in Phuthanang prior to my sister receiving her results. I took my son to the Phuthanang Clinic. My uncle and his 17-year-old son also went to get tested as they were the close contacts of my sister.

“At the clinic the three of them were tested and we left after it was concluded. Nobody gave us any information on what was supposed to happen while we waited for the results. My sister called me to tell me to keep my son in isolation and that he must always wear his mask,” she said.

She added that they were informed a few days later that her son tested positive for Covid-19.

“On July 8 a sister from the clinic called me saying that my son had tested positive for Covid-19. I was shocked and started crying. The sister heard I was emotional and said she would call me back. She called me back again after a few minutes. I explained to her that I had a seven-year-old child who might also have been exposed to the virus. I also told her that I did not know how to treat the virus or how to assist my older child. She said that my son and I also had to be tested and we went to the  Tshiamo Clinic.”

The next day she received a call informing her that her 13-year-old son would be admitted to Harmony Home.

“On the morning of July 9 I received another call from a sister at the Mapule Masipane Clinic in Vergenoeg saying that my son must go to Harmony Home for isolation. The health environment officer came to the house and said the child was not supposed to stay with us as he can infect us. Later that day a taxi with a Department of Health logo came to pick up my son.

“I was concerned and asked the person inside the taxi what the procedures were seeing that my son is still underage. I was told that everything would be fine and I need not to worry. I did not sign anything and they left with my son. They then went to pick up my uncle’s 17-year-old son who was also admitted to Harmony Home,” she said.

 A few days later she received a call from her uncle saying that the children had been discharged.

 “He urgently needed taxi fare as the children had been discharged, stating that he received a call from Harmony Home that he must come and pick up the children. I was surprised as the children were only there for seven days and from what I understood a person is supposed to be in isolation for 14 days,” she said.

 “My uncle told me when he arrived at Harmony Home the boys were waiting outside. My uncle was denied access onto the premises and the boys came to him and they just left. There was no paperwork or discharge forms he had to sign and nobody came to explain to him what the health status of the children were or whether they needed any further medical treatment,” she said.

 The concerned mother went back to Harmony Home for an explanation and further clarity on the matter.

 “I explained to the sister that my underage child was admitted for seven days whereby we were denied visitation and he was then discharged without any explanation. The sister said that it might be because the children did not show any signs of the symptoms.

 “I asked the sister if the child was retested to determine if the virus was out of his system and she said there was no retesting. I was shocked as I realised that we now have no certainty whether the child is actually healthy or not,” she said.

 “I realised that the sister (at the clinic) never actually showed me my son’s results. I also received a message stating that my seven-year-old son’s test came back as negative.”

 She indicated that they are now in the dark whether her child actually tested positive or not.

 “My son is currently at home. I keep him inside the house. We all wear masks as we now do not have any information whether he actually tested positive. My uncle and I never received our test results.”

 According to the woman they are now treated like outcasts in the community because of this ordeal.

The Department of Health was not available to comment on the matter.