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Stringent plans in place for health workers, says W Cape Health

8 April 2020 9:05 AM

Only eleven health workers tested Covid-19-positive over the past four weeks, says W Cape Health head Dr Keith Cloete.

Newly appointed head of Health in the Western Cape, Dr Keith Cloete talks to Refilwe Moloto about how they will deal with frontline staff at key hospitals falling ill themselves.

Health Minister has raised concerns over 66 confirmed cases of Covid-19 at Durban's St Augustine's Hospital of which 48 are staff members.

Cloete says in the Western Cape has not reached this stage but acknowledges it could happen.

We have only had eleven documented Covid-19-positive health workers over the past four weeks, of which four are import-related. Only 3 cases happened at a health facility.

Dr Keith Cloete, Head of Health - Western Cape

He says a very stringent protection plan is in place with all the appropriate protective gear in place.

This includes the very strict protocols for the disposal of the used gear, he says.

We put a lot of store on the high-risk areas for the maximum protection of staff.

Dr Keith Cloete, Head of Health - Western Cape

He says health workers are monitored on an ongoing basis for infection.

With the first case of a health worker infection, the protocol would be to remove that specific health worker.

Should we have significant staff infection and it spreads from staff to staff, in that situation our protocol will hold. Anybody who is positive and those who have had close contact with them would be recommended to be quarantined.

Dr Keith Cloete, Head of Health - Western Cape

Luckily we have not landed up in that situation but when we do we will take it case by case. Our big focus at the moment is to prevent us from landing up in that situation.

Dr Keith Cloete, Head of Health - Western Cape

Self-isolation is the best treatment at this stage, he says.

If anybody develops more serious symptoms, we hospitalise, provide oxygen and give that person the best chance for recovery.

Listen to the interview below:


8 April 2020 9:05 AM

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