Netcare Milpark Hospital today confirmed that the hospital temporarily closed one of its theatre complexes last Thursday, 28 May, for deep cleaning as a precautionary measure after a staff-member tested positive for Covid-19.  

Marc van Heerden, general manager of the hospital says the hospital’s emergency department and the rest of the hospital remains open and operational. The hospital’s other theatre complex, which is situated in a separate wing, remains operational and is also used for any emergency surgery. 

“The theatre complex that has been temporarily closed is being deep-cleaned, disinfected and decontaminated and we have also deployed an ultraviolet disinfection robot for this purpose. These robots have proved highly effective in destroying viruses, bacteria and fungal spores in healthcare facilities throughout the theatre. The theatres in this complex are expected to reopen next Monday,” adds Van Heerden.   

According to Sandile Mbele, regional director of Netcare’s South West regionthe hospital management took immediate action to contain a possible spread of the infection.  

All persons who work in the theatre complex, including nurses, doctors and service staff were tested, as well as others who have had contact with the affected staff member. All of these individuals are in self-isolation and are being monitored, with Netcare providing accommodation at no cost to staff members who are not able to self-isolate safely at home,” Mbele says. 

Majority of the test results have been received, with a small number of those tested being positive. According to the hospital’s procedures, re-testing will be done once the initial quarantine period is completed and healthcare workers will only return to work if they are Covid-19 negative 

 Safeguarding staff and patients 

“We have been cooperating closely with the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and the Department of Health (DoH) on an ongoing basis and have aligned our clinical protocols for managing Covid-19 patients directly with their clinical guidelines,” says Mbele 

In addition, says Mbele, healthcare workers and other staff in the Netcare Group are taking an abundance of care to safeguard all who work and are cared for at our facilities.” To that end, Netcare hospitals “do daily risk assessments and screening, including temperature, of all persons at the hospitals’ premises, including staff members, doctors, contract service providers, persons coming for doctor consultations or for radiological investigations, as well as the few visitors with special exemption. 

“As we have seen globally, Covid-19 is a highly virulent and contagious virus. Therefore, taking swift and comprehensive action when a case is identified, is of key importance in containing the spread thereof,” concludes Mbele.