Overcrowded Tembisa hospital not suitable for coronavirus cases

Tembisa Hospital has been identified as one of three hospitals in Gauteng that will treat coronavirus cases, but this hospital is severely overcrowded and is only just recovering from antibiotic-resistant klebsiella infections that caused the deaths of ten babies.

Unlike the other two identified hospitals, Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg and Steve Biko, there is simply no space at Tembisa Hospital to isolate any coronavirus patients.

I recently saw for myself in the neonatal wards how “isolation” of klebsiella-infected babies was simply a curtained off section rather than a separate room.

It cannot be that Tembisa Hospital was chosen simply because it is near the O R Tambo airport where coronavirus-infected patients could enter the country.

More coronavirus cases have been detected outside China, including five reported cases in Botswana, so the threat is real.

I don’t think that the Gauteng Health Department can seriously justify the choice of Tembisa Hospital as a potential treatment centre for coronavirus cases.

The Department needs to work with the private health sector to ensure that we really are geared up to isolate and treat any coronavirus cases in Gauteng.