Healthcare services have been disrupted at the Freedom Square Clinic in Bloemfontein. This is after several staff members, including a nurse, contracted the coronavirus.
Workers have downed tools, demanding the clinic be decontaminated. Scores of patients at the clinic have been left high and dry after the facility was closed due to COVID-19 infections.
Patients say they have been unable to access their medication since Friday. Frustrated patients say the situation is concerning.
“Since Friday, we heard some of the staff members have corona. So I don’t know if they even cleaned the clinic. We don`t know what is happening, we can`t get medication,” says one of the patients.
Positive Action Campaign Secretary, Sello Mkhalipi, says some of the affected patients are on chronic medication. “The staff is demanding that the facility be fumigated before they go back to work but what is even worse is that patients are worried about their safety. We tried to communicate with officials to fumigate.
While we were addressing this matter somebody from the patients stood up and said they have tested positive for COVID-19, so this means it is even risky for patients who are here to take medication.
Free State Health Department Spokesperson, Mondli Mvambi, has accused activists’ movements of causing distractions at healthcare facilities.
“The department is disturbed by activist organisations operating within our clinics that seem to be instigating health workers to act against guidelines. We are aware that at Freedom Square Clinic that there are people who tested positive but we are following guidelines. We are making sure that we do a risk assessment.
Meanwhile, Free State MECs of Education and Co-operative Governance have tested positive for the coronavirus. Free State government spokesperson, Setjhaba Maphalla, says government work will not be impacted.
“MEC Makgoe has since been admitted at a local hospital in Bloemfontein through the advice of health care professionals. MEC for Economic Development is now acting MEC of Education until further notice. MEC of COGTA Nxangisa whose COVID-19 test returned positive on Sunday is currently in isolation.
The Department of Health says it is sending its team to address the situation at the Freedom Square Clinic in Bloemfontein.
In other news – South Africa’s COVID-19 death toll passes 7,000