Home South African More babies test positive for Covid-19 at KZN hospital

More babies test positive for Covid-19 at KZN hospital


The hospital came under the spotlight last week after 16 people initially tested positive.

Durban – The Covid-19 outbreak at the embattled Justice Gizenga Mpanza Regional (Stanger) Hospital has worsened, after eight more babies tested positive for the virus. This brings the number of babies who have tested positive to 10.

KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala and Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu briefed the public on the cases of Covid-19 in the province and recovery measures at a media briefing on Sunday. 

The hospital came under the spotlight last week after 16 people initially tested positive.

Zikalala said the hospital was declared a quarantine site, adding that an instruction was issued that it should stop accepting new patients.

“Initially, 16 people tested positive for Covid-19. These were nine mothers, two babies, four doctors and one nurse. A total of 51 other health care workers were traced as contacts and were tested.

“Of the 51 tested, one additional medical officer tested positive, leading to a total of two medical officers. Twelve babies and 22 mothers were tested. Out of those, eight babies, nine boarder mothers, seven doctors and three nurses tested positive.”

He said measures were being put in place to disinfect and decontaminate the hospital.

He said concrete decisions on the hospital would be communicated following engagements, and other activities, that aim to ensure that the hospital was functional but, more importantly, it is safe to admit patients.

Zikalala also addressed the issue of social relief.

He said, as of May 6, the provincial government had received 100302 applications from people requesting social relief assistance.

Of this, a total of 48893 cases were assessed, leading to 34077 food parcels being dispatched, while 59086 are outstanding and 9624 did not meet the criteria.

He said an electronic management system would be used to monitor the distribution of food parcels, which are in the process of being rolled out.

“We are aware that there is an increase in demand for social relief support and we will continue to respond within the available resources,” he said.

Zikalala also warned that law enforcement agencies would be out in force from today, to enforce the national lockdown regulations that are being flouted.

EThekwini and uMgungundlovu residents have been singled out for violating the regulations.

Worse news for uMgungundlovu, is that the number of infections has doubled in the past few weeks, from about 30 to 60.

Zikalala said, between May 4 and 7, a total of 26170 law enforcement personnel were deployed to enforce the regulations. A total of 355 roadblocks were held, during which 40088 vehicles were stopped and 84507 people searched or interviewed.

In the same period, 1125 cases were opened and 1182 arrests were made. About 450 admission of guilt fines were issued. A total of 2744 liquor business inspections were conducted, during which 155 non-compliant sites were identified.

“We are observing that since the announcement of the lowering of the national lockdown to level four, in places like the Durban CBD, Isipingo and others, and in certain shopping malls, it’s as if the floodgates have been opened,” he said.

“We are also in possession of a dossier that lists a number of private firms that are acting in contravention of the regulations of level four.

“Our law enforcement agencies, accompanied by the SA National Defence Force, will be out in full force, taking the necessary action against offenders.

“We want all our compatriots to be clear about one thing: we will take stringent action,” he said.

Simelane-Zulu said uMgungundlovu was becoming a Covid-19 hotspot, due to the steady increase in the number of cases and the flouting of regulations. “If you go to the known busy streets in Pietermaritzburg, people are out, it is like Christmas.”

She said, in some cases, they had noticed that people were reusing masks that were supposed to be discarded after one use.

Others have found a business opportunity, standing outside shopping stores and renting out a single mask to several shoppers, which increases the risk of spreading the virus.

The Mercury