KZN amends hospital visiting hours

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

As the country deals with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu has amended hospital visiting hours across the province.

Simelane-Zulu announced that as of Monday 23 March 2020, visiting hours at all health hospitals have been limited to one hour from 1-2pm.

In addition to the revised hours, the number of visitors allowed for each patient, has been reduced to two.

In addition, no international visitors will be allowed access to the facilities.

“With the immune system of some in-hospital patients already compromised due to their ailments, the department has a responsibility to maintain infection prevention,  and control standards and minimize their exposure to people who could be carrying the virus unknowingly. Members of the public are urged to co-operate,” Simelane-Zulu said.

Meanwhile, Simelane-Zulu has expressed satisfaction at the news that two of the first patients exposed to the Coronavirus in South Africa have been given the all-clear.

 The pair are already home.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala also welcomed the news of the speedy recovery of the two patients, saying this signalled hope amid the despair and gloom sparked by the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

“This development, inspires hope in line with KZN's Coronavirus battle mantra “Siyayinqoba [we will conquer] the Coronavirus pandemic.This is very important as it dispels fear among our people and confirms that Coronavirus is curable, through early medical intervention and through people heeding precautions laid out by government,” Zikalala said.

Meanwhile, the MEC alluded to the capability and professionalism in the public healthcare system to deal with major outbreaks such as the Coronavirus.

“This is a serious test of our readiness to roll-out the National Health Insurance [NHI],” Simelane-Zulu said.

Provincial Command Team

KwaZulu-Natal has established a Provincial Command Team (PCT), which is tasked with providing a comprehensive response to the Coronavirus pandemic in the province.

The PCT is the highest-level intervention structure coordinated by the Premier and comprises of MECs, Heads of Departments, and key stakeholders, including Correctional Services and the South African Police Services.

Zikalala has announced an intensive ground mobilisation programme, which entails all MECs visiting various districts to lead education and awareness programmes.

The MECs will conduct on-the-ground assessments of readiness and the availability of required infrastructure in all districts, in a bid to combat the spread of the virus.

The plan also includes an assessment of readiness and capacity in every district of the province to respond to, and to accommodate the prospects of dealing with increasing levels of infection.

“The KZN government is going all out to mitigate further infections. The intensification of the public education, awareness and education campaign will go a long way towards fighting the stigma and ensuring that people are fully informed about how to protect themselves against the spread of the virus,” Zikalala said.

The mobilisation programme will kick off on Wednesday, 25 March 2020. –