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Batho Pele Principles

COVID-19 claims one life in Limpopo

By: Emmaculate Cindi

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Province stands at 27 with one death. Since the launch of massive screening and testing on Tuesday, the Premier has announced that about 100 000 were screened on the first day of the operation across the province. About 110 of the 100 000 were sent for actual testing after screening.

Sadly a 64 year old male has succumbed to his death after being admitted at Netcare Private Hospital in Polokwane. He was admitted on the 7th of April 2020 after visiting a local private Health Practitioner for his chronic diabetic condition.

“Upon the admission he was assessed as a risk patient even though he had never been out of the province. His first test came out negative despite the fact that he presented all COVID-19 symptoms.  I commend his Physician for keeping him in isolation even when the laboratory results were negative. Your expert clinical diagnosis was indeed a very responsible one” said Dr Ramathuba

The MEC for Department of Health Dr Phophi Ramathuba has established a task team which will include Netcare Virologist team and National Health Laboratory (NHLS) to determine how was it possible that the first test on the patient came out negative for COVID-19 while he presented all symptoms and had compromised immune system.

The hospital has taken additional precautionary measure to test 11 staff members who had contact with the patient since his admission to the facility and quarantined them.  All the 11 staff members were in full protective gear during their contact with the deceased regardless that he had tested negative for covid-19 and was treated for diabetes instead.

Dr Ramathuba has emphasized that each patient is now treated as COVID-19 positive when entering any health facilities as a standard measure to minimize the spread of the virus. The 65 year old deceased’s wife also tested positive and is currently in isolation.

“This case clearly demonstrates the emphases of staying at home during this lockdown. Since they have never been out of the province it could mean that someone who tested positive was in-contact with them. Please stay at home and minimise being exposed to the virus” Dr Ramathuba

120 facilities across the province have been identified for quarantine, 38 are readily available to admit patients and the rest are being upgraded to meet requirements for COVID-19 patients.