New Somerset hospital takes extreme measures to fight Covid-19

The New Somerset hospital has measures in place to deal with Covid-19.

New Somerset Hospital in Portswood Road, Green Point, is a Covid-19 testing site for those referred by the provincial hotline.

Those entering the hospital are first screened in a tent and have to answer a questionnaire.

“If their feedback warrants testing they will be referred onto the test site at the hospital,” said Western Cape Department of Health spokeswoman, Natalie Watlington.

She added that all staff were screened daily and the same procedure for testing was applied, should any staff member fit the criteria.

Several entrances and exits at the hospital have been kept locked to limit the unsupervised traffic of patients and staff going in and out of the hospital. 

“No visitors are allowed except for birth partners and parent/guardian of a child needing admission,” she said.

Beds for Covid-19 patients have also been commissioned at the hospital.

Somerset hospital CEO, Donna Stokes, said staff members were feeling stressed as winter approaches and this often means a general increase in illness.

“We have a tight-knit Covid-19 management team at the hospital and are trying to be as prepared as possible given the multiple variables,” she said.

Staff are also struggling to get to and from work due to limited public transport and they’ve had to source private transport company to assist them. The other challenge, she said was having adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) as well as managing change and uncertainty.

Ms Stokes urged the public to adhere to the lockdown rules. “This is an extremely stressful time for all, so be kind to each other and especially to essential service workers who are taking a great strain,” she said.

By the time this edition went to print on Tuesday evening, the country had recorded 2 415 cases of Covid-19, with 27 deaths. The Western Cape has 643 cases.

The latest death was of a 57-year-old man from the province. He had co-morbidities that included diabetes and ischaemic heart disease. By Tuesday afternoon, the total number of Covid-19 tests conducted in the country stood at 87 022.

Community screenings and testing in the province commenced on Monday April 6. This is in line with national government’s announcement that fieldworkers would start with an active community screening and testing programme.

The are conducted door-to-door by trained field workers using simple verbal questions to identify people who may require testing.