The outbreak of Covid-19 at Netcare St Augustine’s Hospital in Durban that led to its closure was likely caused by a patient admitted to the hospital’s vigil in early March.
This is one of the findings in the report released by the hospital on Wednesday after an investigation into the circumstances that led to the outbreak of Covid-19 at St. Augustine’s.
Among other things, the investigation found that between 9 March and 30 April, there were 119 confirmed cases of Covid-19 at the hospital, of which 39 were patients and 80 were staff.
15 of the 39 patients died. The patient assessed in early March likely transmitted the virus to another patient who was admitted to the vigil at the same time after a stroke.
The virus then spread rapidly through the hospital and infected patients and health workers in at least five different wards.
They found, among other things, that the initial spread of the virus was not picked up in a timely fashion because health care workers did not immediately realize the first person to infect the other had Covid-19.
By the time she was diagnosed, several other people in the hospital were already infected.