Covid-19 cases hit 6 mental health institutions in Gauteng

  • Gauteng health department closely monitoring positive cases at mental health facilities.
  • Multiple cases have been recorded at the department's facilities as well as three contracted facilities.
  • This comes as the province has recorded just over 20 000 cases.

The Gauteng Department of Health says it is closely monitoring Covid-19 cases at mental health institutions, after three department facilities and three contract facilities recorded multiple cases.

This comes after positive cases have been recorded at three out of the department's four mental health facilities and at three contracted facilities.

As of Tuesday, out of the 699 mental health care users (MHCU) at Weskoppies Hospital, 19 tested positive for the virus, five are awaiting their results and 675 tested negative.

"Of those that are positive, one person with underlying illness died on 15 June 2020, while another one was admitted to the Tshwane District Hospital on Monday," spokesperson Kwara Kekana said in a statement on Wednesday.

In addition, eight staff members tested positive and are subsequently in isolation, 34 are awaiting their results while 1 165 are negative.

At the Sterkfontein facility, none of the 490 mental healthcare users are positive. However, out of the 873 staff members, seven have tested positive, 359 are awaiting results and 507 are negative.

Meanwhile, a female user tested positive for Covid-19 at Tara Hospital on 4 June, while one staff member tested positive on 11 June following exposure to the woman.

READ | 11 employees test positive for Covid-19 at two Gauteng health facilities

"The employee is currently in isolation at home with mild symptoms," Kekana added.

In the contracted Baneng Care Centre - a total of 14 mental health care users were tested and seven people were confirmed positive for Covid-19.

"These include four females and three males, with the results of five MHCU still pending," Kekana said.

In addition, nine staff members tested positive, three of those have recovered and are back at work while two remain in isolation at a quarantine centre and four are isolated at home.

The Waverly Care Centre has seen one MHCU test positive for Covid-19, while four staff members tested positive and are isolating at home while one staff member is awaiting results.

Out of the total 426 MHCUs at Solomon Stix Morewa Memorial Hospital, 93 tested positive, 255 are negative and 68 are awaiting results.

"Sadly an elderly man with underlying conditions who was admitted at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital died on 17 June 2020," Kekana explained.

In addition, 18 staff members tested positive at the facility while 43 are negative. The 18 staff members who tested positive are in self-isolation, with three of them accommodated at one of the Clinix Health Group's health facilities.

"The department is closely monitoring the situation across the facilities. A number of the MHCU's are people with co-morbidities.

"Coupled with the inability of most patients to adhere to Covid-19 precautionary measures put in place such as regular hand washing, cough etiquette, wearing of masks and maintaining physical distance, this makes mental healthcare users to be among the most vulnerable groups," Kekana concluded.

Gauteng currently has 24 041 cases of Covid-19, with 5 620 recoveries and 122 deaths.

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