Limpopo doctors forced into quarantine, released
Two doctors, forced into quarantine by the Limpopo Department of Health after testing positive for coronavirus have been released.
Taryn Williams and Claire Olivier had been self-isolating at home as per the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) guidelines but were told they needed to move to a designated hospital in Modimolle.
Department spokesperson Neil Shikwambane told the Midday Report that the decision was made after a number of people who tested positive in the province failed to follow the guidelines to self-isolate.
The Department of Health took the decision that there was a need to take people into isolation where they could be monitored closely and not pose the risk of infecting others.Neil Shikwambane, Director of Communications - Limpopo Health Department
These doctors were among those who were taken in.Neil Shikwambane, Director of Communications - Limpopo Health Department
The government gazette that deals with these issues does not speak of self-isolation, but of isolation.Neil Shikwambane, Director of Communications - Limpopo Health Department
So as a province we looked at the material conditions. Is it practically possible for each and everyone to self-isolate in this province?Neil Shikwambane, Director of Communications - Limpopo Health Department
We were saying, for the period of recovery, can they be in a single area where they can recover and once they are recovered they can go back home so they do not risk infecting others.Neil Shikwambane, Director of Communications - Limpopo Health Department
The decision by the department was heavily criticised by the South African Medical Association who described the move by the department as 'heavy-handed' and 'unfair'.
Open Letter to: 2— SAMA (@SAMedicalAssoc) April 2, 2020
Dr PC Ramathuba,
MEC for Health,
Republic of South Africa: April 2020https://t.co/UceXFn5flq
Forced isolation in the Modimolle MDR-TB Hospital for two doctors tested positive for COVID-19 in Limpopo pic.twitter.com/4DnhzqWl36
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