The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health says it is investigating St Augustine’s Hospital in Durban to ascertain how the virus spread at the healthcare facility.

This is after 66 people tested positive for coronavirus at the hospital. Forty seven of them are staff members. Four people have also died from coronavirus at the facility.

KwaZulu-Natal government says St Augustine’s Hospital in Durban will be shut down for the hospital to be disinfected and fumigated.

No new patients have been admitted at the hospital since last week.

According to a statement by the Netcare Group Professor Salim Karim, who is a special advisor to the Minister of Health, infectious disease specialists from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the Netcare clinical team are working together in investigating the underlying cause and nature of the COVID-19 outbreak at the hospital.

In the video below, unionist Cassim Lekhoathi says the hospital should be closed completely: 

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala says those patients who could go home were discharged and only one ward remains open to treat positive patients.

“This is an extremely concerning development and we have asked for detail examination of how cases were being managed at the hospital.  At this point in time we are responding to the developing crisis and we are not as yet sitting in a judgment. We don’t want to conclude, we are looking and still observing what happened and we have said that let there be further investigation on the matter.”

Provincial Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu says they are closely monitoring investigations into the hospital.

“I did not say there was a trend of private facilities not following protocols, but I did say in this hospital in particularly, the investigation so far has indicated that there might have been that challenge. That is why we have decided that we will continue and then have an in-depth investigation in relation to that. We are able to understand what actually happened and what has let this particular facility to have a such number of infections and such a number of deaths. So, once we received a proper investigation, as the Department of Health, we are going to go through the proper legal channels and speak to them and follow them if there is anyone who should be held accountable, but we don’t want to jump processes.”

KwaZulu-Natal has the highest number of deaths due to coronavirus. The province also ranks third in the number of confirmed cases after Gauteng and the Western Cape.

Below is a graphic with the total number of cases in South Africa : 

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