The Limpopo Health Department says the two doctors at the centre of its dispute with the South African Medical Association (SAMA), acted irresponsibly while self-isolating, in letting their domestic worker come to work after they had tested positive for the coronavirus.
The department says all patients in quarantine, after having tested positive for the coronavirus, will be released once they are cleared of the infection.
The department has come under fire from SAMA for the alleged forced isolation of the two doctors. SAMA says this is against the guidelines set out by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The South African Medical Association and the Limpopo Health Department are at loggerheads, following the alleged forced isolation of two doctors. The two doctors were allegedly placed in isolation on Thursday on the instructions of Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba. #sabcnews
— SAfm news (@SAfmnews) April 4, 2020
Open Letter to: 2
Dr PC Ramathuba,
MEC for Health,
Republic of South Africa: April 2020https://t.co/UceXFn5flq
Forced isolation in the Modimolle MDR-TB Hospital for two doctors tested positive for COVID-19 in Limpopo pic.twitter.com/4DnhzqWl36
— SAMA (@SAMedicalAssoc) April 2, 2020
The two doctors were allegedly placed in isolation at a quarantine site in Modimolle, allegedly on the instructions of Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba.
Head of the Limpopo Health Department Dr. Thokozani Mhlongo says the two doctors put the life of the domestic worker’s young child at risk by potentially exposing her to the COVID-19 infection.
“These are clinicians, these are people who know the circumstances of their domestic worker and we were saying that they could have done better particularly in alerting authorities to say this person cannot self-quarantine under the circumstances, therefore, would you want them to take over because they simply said they told the person to self-quarantine? Now we are saying an ordinary person couldn’t have applied their mind but that’s not what we expected from clinicians, that’s all.”