168 staff and patients infected at Gauteng mental health facilities

24 June 2020 - 11:19 By Iavan Pijoos
Gauteng health authorities are monitoring Covid-19 cases at mental health facilities across the province where 168 staff and patients have tested positive.
Gauteng health authorities are monitoring Covid-19 cases at mental health facilities across the province where 168 staff and patients have tested positive.
Image: Tyler Olson/ 123RF.com

Gauteng health authorities are monitoring Covid-19 cases at mental health facilities across the province where 168 staff and patients have tested positive.

The affected institutions are run by the provincial health department and also contracted facilities. Two patients with underlying illnesses have died in the past nine days.  

Provincial health spokesperson Kwara Kekana said the department had four specialised mental health facilities: Weskoppies, Sterkfontein, Tara H Moross Psychiatric Hospital and Cullinan Care and Rehabilitation Centre.

Kekana said the department has also contracted Life Esidimeni health-care centres and the Clinix Health Group which included the Waverley and Baneng care centres and Solomon Stix Morewa Hospital.

The breakdown of cases reported at the institutions as of Tuesday was:

Weskoppies Hospital

Out of 699 patients, 19 tested positive for Covid-19 while five were waiting for results.

A total of 675 patients tested negative.

One person with an underlying illness died on June 15 and a second patient was admitted to the Tshwane District Hospital on Monday.

Eight staff members tested positive and were in isolation while 34 others were still waiting for their results.

A total of 1,165 staff members tested negative.

Sterkfontein

Out of 490 patients, no positive cases were reported.  Of 873 staff members, seven tested positive and 359 were awaiting results.

A total of 507 staff members tested negative.

Tara H Moross Psychiatric Hospital

A female patient tested positive on June 4 and a staff member, a general assistant, tested positive on June 11. The employee is currently in isolation at home with mild symptoms.

Baneng Care

Fourteen patients were tested and seven, four women and three men, tested positive for Covid-19.

Five patients were still waiting for results.

Of nine staff who tested positive, three have recovered and are back at work. Two remain in isolation at the Life Healthcare quarantine centre in Midrand and four are in isolation at home.

Waverley Care Centre

One patient and four staff members tested positive for Covid-19. One staff member is awaiting results.

Solomon Stix Morewa Memorial Hospital (Selby)

Out of 416 patients, 93 tested positive. A total of 255 tested negative and 68 were awaiting results.

An elderly man with underlying conditions, admitted at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, died on June 17.

Eighteen staff tested positive while 43 tested negative.

Kekana said the department was closely monitoring the situation as a number of patients had comorbidities.

“Coupled with the inability of most patients to adhere to Covid-19 precautionary measures put in place such as regular hand washing, cough etiquette, wearing of masks and maintaining physical distance this makes mental health care users to be among the most vulnerable groups.”


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