COVID-19 is now surging, as the winter season is also getting more cold. A staff member reported that a patient at the Albertina Sisulu Clinic in Zone 11 Sebokeng has tested positive for COVID-19. The local councillor responded and said, “I called the clinic supervisor, and had asked her to follow the proper procedures in terms of staff blood sampling and tests.”
Further, one of the staff personnel, who is part of the community as well, she had mentioned that “the area manager had asked of us not to shut the clinic but resume services! She tells also that if we further spread this news, as it is already on social media! There will be an investigation soon to determine who is spreading the news” and the person will face disciplinary action.
Karibu! could not access the audios that the staff member shared on WhatsApp due to the investigation, as the implicated staff members are now fearing for their lives. The residents opted to confront the clinic should they resume with services! They were planning a mini strike in the morning should services resume!
Karibu! followed up with the Zone 11 clinic the following day, which was Wednesday 17 June 2020, since this was a dedicated day for new-born immunisation! All of the mothers had to return home as it was announced by the Area Manager that the clinic has been closed till further notice, due to the infection detected from a patient yesterday.
The rest of patients were also told that they will only get their medicine without their routine check-up. Karibu! insisted to speak to one of the health care workers and was told to go to the Area Management office in Vanderbjlpark, at their HR department, and ask to be given permission to speak to any of them about matters related thereof.
Karibu! is currently speaking with one of the staff personnel at Zone 11 clinic. She says that “we have been put through to counselling, while I am going to be charged for spreading this incident as fake news on social media”. Apparently, the sister is now facing charges, as management feels that she has jeopardised their work ethic. This is not right at all. At the compromise of people’s health, the management feels that it was not necessary to have the clinic closed and disinfected properly.
One may be quite certain that this incident could have not been reported to the National Coronavirus Command Council. Karibu! will be checking with the Ward Councillor, as he promised yesterday that “the report is in progress”. The fumigation happened for less than 30 minutes, and the people fumigating only went inside the clinic to spray, and did not sanitise the outside benches, the pavement, and the corridors. What sort of fumigation processes set the standard procedures in such incidents?
Of the investigation incident, the affected health worker said, “we are supposed to report at work on Monday, and the clinic will resume its usual course”.
[Editors note: Karibu! Followed up with the Ward Councillor and the report was submitted to the National Coronavirus Command Council, the clinic was opened a week later.]
This article was submitted on 20 June 2020. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (www.Karibu.org.za), and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.