MANY workers and patients were shocked to hear two doctors, five nurses, one admin worker and two clinical support staff tested positive for Covid-19 at Boitumelo Hospital in Kroonstad, Free State.

Staff and patients said they were not feeling safe but the health department said the situation was under control.

A nurse said: “The department doesn’t seem to care about staff on the frontline. We all need personal protective equipment, but that is not the case. Our lives are in danger because our colleagues are now infected. Had the department taken measures, none of the staff would have been infected. No medical staff will deliberately infect themselves with a deadly virus. This was the department’s responsibility. but they did not bother.”

Provincial health spokesman Mondli Mvambi said they were aware of the infected hospital staff members.

“There are 20 new cases, four in Mangaung, 12 in Fezile Dabi, one in Xhariep and three in Lejweleputswa district.

Since Monday, departmental officials have observed and responded well and swiftly to the situation at Boitumelo Hospital, where 10 members of staff tested positive for Covid-19. Contact tracing is being done, quarantine of those who tested positive and decontamination of the affected areas is also being done without closing the entire facility.

“The department briefed all night duty staff and facilitated their screening to determine close contacts for testing and decontamination.”

“Health MEC Montseng Tsiu, head of department David Motau and senior management had an extensive briefing session with unions about plans implemented by the department to curb the situation from getting out of hand. The department made a commitment that there will be further briefings with other staff and careful monitoring of the environment to ensure no patients and members of the public get infected.”