KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has confirmed that the General Gizenga Mpanza Hospital in KwaDukuza will re-open on Monday.

The hospital was closed after nine mothers and 42 health workers tested positive for COVID-19.

Zikalala briefed the media in Durban on Sunday on the provincial government’s plans to combat the coronavirus.

He confirmed that the Inanda Community Health Centre also had to be closed after four nurses and a doctor tested positive for the virus.

Zikalala says all other employees have been tested and are receiving their results.

“The department took a decision to close the facility. This was done as a safety precaution and to allow for the decontamination of the health facility in accordance with established protocol. We have since tested all employees for COVID-19. With regard to General Gizenga Mpanza regional hospital, this hospital will be opened from the 18th of May 2020,” explains Zikalala.

Meanwhile, Zikalala is concerned about the increase in the number of COVID-19 infections in the Ilembe district, north of the Durban Metropole.

He says while the eThekwini Metro has 866 cases to date and the Umgungundlovu district at Pietermaritzburg 326, the number of cases in Ilembe, per 100 000 of the district’s population, is higher.

Zikalala says this trend emerged as the spread of the virus shifted from cases connected to international travel, to local transmissions.

“While areas that were affected more were initially urban areas, we now note an increase in townships and still less an increase in rural areas. We need to work more to curb the spread in eThekwini, Ilembe and Umgungundlovu and these need to be closely monitored as we go forward,” explains the Premier.

Other KZN hospitals closed due to COVID-19

St Augustine’s in Durban was closed at the beginning of April when 48 health workers tested positive for COVID-19.

Staff members at Kingsway in Amanzimtoti have contracted the disease and the hospital was closed.

Parkland in Durban was also temporarily closed.

KZN has 1543 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 45 deaths and 817 recoveries.