IT has emerged that Sterkfontein Psychiatric Hospital has had a high number of staff and patient Covid-19 cases.

Almost 200 staff and patients were infected by the end of August.

The DA’s Jack Bloom said this was revealed by acting Gauteng Health MEC Jacob Mamabolo in a written reply in the Legislature.

Bloom said according to Mamabolo, 125 hospital workers and 64 patients were infected, with one death recorded. According to workers, there were two deaths.

“Covid-19 infections at the hospital affected nearly 17% of 720 staff and about 11% of 560 patients.

“This is disturbingly high. This hospital treats mental patients and has a lower risk than others.”

“There was a protest by 25 staff members about inadequate infection control on 19 May.

“And they were dismissed, but reinstated recently after referring the matter to the Bargaining Council for arbitration.”

He said although Mamabolo claimed enough PPEs were supplied to the hospital, an investigation was needed as to why there was such a high infection rate.

But the Gauteng health department said there had been 125 staff recoveries with zero active cases.

It said cumulative positive infections of staff since the start of the pandemic was 126, with 125 recoveries, and cases of positive patients was 63 since the beginning of the pandemic – all of them recovered with zero active cases.

  • The department said it had put the following measures in place: Establishment Covid-19 task teams) Daily screening of staff and patients) Stable patients given masks and encouraged to maintain social distancing) Use of appropriate PPE by staff ) Sanitising of hands ) Continuous training of staff.

“One of the key steps is engagement with the families of the affected health care users so that they are updated on developments in this regard,” said Health spokeswoman, Kwara Kekana.