Chaos at North­dale clinic

The Witness - - FRONT PAGE - NIYANTA SINGH

IRATE pa­tients who queued at the North­dale clinic on Ban­ga­lore Road on Mon­day stormed the premises af­ter the clinic had to close due to a staff mem­ber test­ing pos­i­tive for Covid-19.

Pan­de­mo­nium broke out when pa­tients be­gan protest­ing and at­tempted to break down the gate as they had been wait­ing since the early hours of the morn­ing for their med­i­ca­tion. Clinic staff could not at­tend to them as all of them had to be tested and the clinic shut down for sani­ti­sa­tion.

A pen­sioner said she was ter­ri­fied and feared for her life.

“A nurse came out to tell us they couldn’t at­tend to us as they had to close im­me­di­ately be­cause one of the staff had just re­ceived their test re­sults. They were all very up­set. The next thing, the crowd started shout­ing but se­cu­rity man­aged to get them out and lock the gates. It didn’t stop there. We had to quickly run across the road to get away from it. They were shout­ing and bang­ing on the gates and fences, pushing it down and try­ing to get in,” said the pen­sioner.

Ward 31 coun­cil­lor Rook­sana Ahmed said she was con­tacted to help. “Se­cu­rity even­tu­ally man­aged to calm the peo­ple down. The pa­tients were ad­vised they could col­lect their med­i­ca­tion on Tues­day [yes­ter­day] af­ter the clinic had been de­con­tam­i­nated. All the staff are in self-iso­la­tion and ro­ta­tional staff were brought in,” said Ahmed.

Mean­while, sev­eral schools and stores around Pi­eter­mar­itzburg and the Mid­lands have had pos­i­tive cases and were closed for de­con­tam­i­na­tion. They in­clude:

• Three stu­dents at Var­sity Col­lege. All three share ac­com­mo­da­tion off cam­pus where trans­mis­sion is be­lieved to have oc­curred. Cam­pus head Gra­ham Ben­netts said in a let­ter they were “very con­cerned” about those so­cial­is­ing off cam­pus and not fol­low­ing pro­to­cols in day-to-day lives.

• A teacher at Ne­wholme Pri­mary School tested pos­i­tive and the school has been closed un­til July 3.

• A teacher at Niza­mia Is­lamic School tested pos­i­tive and the school has been closed un­til July 6.

• A teacher at Claren­don Pri­mary school tested pos­i­tive but the school re­mains open as the teacher was not at school for over a week.

• Her­manns­burg school was closed af­ter two pupils tested pos­i­tive. Prin­ci­pal Trevor Har­bot­tle said they were due to close for the end of the sec­ond term on July 3, so de­cided to close the school im­me­di­ately and re­open as sched­uled on July 12.

• The Umvoti Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of­fices closed in­def­i­nitely af­ter a staff mem­ber tested pos­i­tive. All those in con­tact with the em­ployee were no­ti­fied to self-iso­late and those who visited the of­fices in the past three weeks were ad­vised to con­tact the Na­tional In­sti­tute for Com­mu­ni­ca­ble Dis­eases.

• Bluff Meat Sup­ply in Vic­to­ria Road was closed for sani­ti­sa­tion af­ter an em­ployee tested pos­i­tive.

• Wool­worths at the Cas­cades cen­tre was also tem­po­rar­ily closed af­ter a staff mem­ber tested pos­i­tive.

• Ten res­i­dents at River­side re­tire­ment home have tested pos­i­tive, nine of whom are asymp­to­matic. Thirty six res­i­dents were tested and eight re­sults are still out­stand­ing. One pos­i­tive res­i­dent has since passed away, two have re­cov­ered and two are in hos­pi­tal. Forty staff mem­bers there were tested with 10 be­ing pos­i­tive (asymp­to­matic), and 15 re­sults out­stand­ing.

• Six res­i­dents at the Sun­ny­side home have been placed in pre­cau­tion­ary quar­an­tine and are asymp­to­matic.

• Six res­i­dents at the Wood­grove home are also in pre­cau­tion­ary quar­an­tine. One of the res­i­dents had un­der­gone an op­er­a­tion in hos­pi­tal.

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