Seven patients test positive at ‘separate’ dialysis centre at St Augustine’s Hospital

Seven patients test positive at 'separate' dialysis centre at St Augustine's Hospital

Durban – The KZN Health MEC has confirmed that 7 patients receiving dialysis at St Augustine’s Hospital have tested positive for Covid-19.

Speaking at a media briefing on Sunday, MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said in St Augustine’s there is ward or building that is not necessarily linked to the main building of the hospital, but this is a building that is being utilized as a dialysis centre.

“Now understanding the shortage of dialysis in the province, when we closed down the hospital, we then agreed with the hospital that that particular dialysis centre will continue to function, on the basis that it is separate from the main building.

“Although we raised an issue with the group to say how sure are they that the virus has not moved around, they indicated it was not possible for the virus to move around, as the healthcare workers that work in the hospital don’t necessarily work in the dialysis centre.

“I must indicate that as of Wednesday we were informed that close to seven patients in that facility, have found to be positive and we are now faced with a situation where we need to instruct and we have indicated to St Augustine’s that they must find alternative centres for these particular patients to be dialysed.”

Simelane-Zulu said one must then understand clinically that it is not possible for someone to stop dialysis at this point.

“If you do that, in about 3-4 days, you run a risk of that person complicating and therefore passing away. We have given St Augustine’s Hospital a week to say what they are going to do with these patients.

The MEC said they were instructed further that all patients needed to be tested.

Earlier this month, close to 60 staff tested positive for covid-19 at the hospital and the hospital has since been closed.

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