Aged residents at the Ikhaya Loxolo Lase Frail Care Centre and Home for the Aged in Gugulethu, near Cape Town, will be relocated from the facility this week so that deep cleaning can take place.
Independent Online (IOL) reports that this comes just days after employees threatened to down tools after an elderly male patient tested positive for the coronavirus. In all, the home has recorded two patient infections and at least four staff members have tested positive since the pandemic began. The news website quotes a healthcare worker at the facility as saying: “When the (latest) elderly man tested positive he was just chucked in a separate room and told he was in isolation. No medication was given to him, nothing. No one has been tested since. Those of us who got tested went of our own accord.
Management at the care facility could not be reached for comment at the time of publication. iKhaya Loxolo Lase (loosely translated as ‘our home’) houses up to 100 elderly persons – mostly listed as terminally ill – from poor communities. According to Independent Online, earlier his month a resident at the Sen CIT Resthaven Home for the Aged in the Cape Town suburb of Strand passed away from the virus. The elderly are particularly at risk from COVID-19 and around the world there have been several outbreaks at aged care facilities.
In Australia, for example, an outbreak at Newmarch House in Sydney has so far resulted in the deaths of 19 residents. In all, 71 staff and patients have tested positive there. They were infected by a nurse who worked a few casual shifts at the facility.
In the US, a third of all coronavirus-related deaths can be traced back to old age home homes and similar locations. In the United Kingdom, the BBC reported on 1 May that a quarter of all deaths associated with the virus in England and Wales were in care homes. In Scotland, 45% of all fatalities came from care facilities.
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