The Dr Yusuf Dadoo hospital in Krugersdorp’s Mogale City local municipality has already tested up to 40 people for the deadly Covid-19 coronavirus disease and all results have come back negative.
A city spokesperson said out of the 40, at least two appeared to tick all the boxes in terms of the infection symptoms, but this week they were cleared.
A person who tested positive in Honeydew in Gauteng, which falls under the Roodepoort Local Municipality, has seemingly been recorded as residing in the West Rand, which Lucky Sele, spokesperson for new mayor Francis Makgatho, has disputed.
This means that the West Rand region of Gauteng is yet to record any positive tests of Covid-19, but even if anyone had tested positive then Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize would be the right person to make the announcement, Sele said.
Despite the apparent clean slate Makgatho – elected mayor in February – is taking no chances and on Wednesday he visited the Dr Yusuf Dadoo hospital to check on the facility’s state of readiness in the event of an outbreak and the upcoming 21-day lockdown starting at midnight on Thursday.
During their exchange, the mayor and hospital chief executive Dr Patrick Sofohlo led by example and stood one metre apart from each other to adhere to the social distancing requirements.
Makgatho said Mogale City has put in place “a Shutdown Business Continuity Plan that will allow for the release of non-essential service employees”. He said local authority services, distribution of power, sanitation services and the supply and distribution of water will be rendered continuously uninterrupted.
Should there be a need for assistance relating to the delivery of these essential services the municipality has provided contact persons in addition to the existing emergency numbers so as to cut the red tape, especially for services provided to the hospital, he said.
“The state of readiness of our hospital is critical as the rate of infections is increasing daily and we need to have our wits about us to be able to contain and suppress the spread of the virus with the ultimate intention of decisively dealing with it [Covid-19] for the benefit of our nation and our city in particular,” he said.
Dr Yusuf Dadoo hospital is represented on the provincial committee set by Gauteng Premier David Makhura, consisting of heads of deparment and the local command centre that meets twice a week to give feedback on Covid-19.
Makgatho’s office will form part of Dr Yusuf Dadoo’s “war-room” to assist with the flow of information.
Dr Sofohlo said all personnel – staff and patients – entering the hospital were screened at entry and there were different entry points for those who were not suspected of contracting the virus and those who were suspected of contracting it.
“The hospital has cancelled all leave applications and all doctors are available for emergencies, while all hospital staff are expected to be at work during lockdown. Stable chronic patients have been supplied with their medication for up to three months to help scale down walk-ins and to allow the hospital staff to focus on Covid-19 cases,” he said.
The hospital was not a quarantine site, he said, but “it has identified a holding room for isolation in case a person is suspected to have contacted Covid-19, that is fully equipped to take tests”.
Makgatho appealed to residents of Mogale City to “stay calm during this period and work together with health practitioners to take precautionary measures to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 by staying at home during the lockdown”.