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'Extremely low' number of Covid-19 patients in Netcare hospitals

13 April 2021 - 14:06 By nivashni nair
Netcare's Jacques du Plessis says Covid-19 admissions at the group's hospitals are currently low. File photo.
Netcare's Jacques du Plessis says Covid-19 admissions at the group's hospitals are currently low. File photo.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

The number of Covid-19 patients at what was Durban's busiest private hospital since the start of the pandemic is “extremely low”.

A source told TimesLIVE that the last Covid-19 patient at St Augustine's Hospital was discharged on Thursday.

Netcare hospital division MD Jacques du Plessis said Covid-19 admissions at all the group's hospitals were low.

“We can confirm that the Covid-19 inpatient numbers are extremely low at present in most Netcare facilities. The situation is however fluid,” he said.

“We therefore urge everyone to take Covid-19 extremely seriously. Please remain vigilant to help protect your loved ones, yourself and the health-care system. It is critical for each individual to closely adhere to Covid-19 precautions including washing hands regularly, adhering to social distancing, and always wearing a mask in public and in the presence of others, to protect yourselves and to help prevent the spread of the virus.”

Last year, an outbreak at St Augustine's forced health authorities to close it down after 119 people tested positive and 15 patient died.

The outbreak is thought to have been sparked through transmission from a patient being assessed for the virus in the emergency department, to another patient being admitted at the same time with a suspected stroke.

That's according to an investigation led by the University of KwaZulu-Natal, which found that between March 9 and April 30 last year there were 119 confirmed cases identified at the hospital.

Since then, hundreds of Covid-19 patients were admitted to the hospital during the second wave of the pandemic.

“We cannot emphasise strongly enough the need for all these precautions to be diligently followed, as every person has a responsibility to help ‘flatten the anticipated new curve’ and avoid contracting and passing on the virus,” Du Plessis said on Tuesday.

“As indicated by both President Cyril Ramaphosa and the minister of health, Zweli Mkhize, it really is in our hands.”