The North West department of health says its healthcare workers have returned to work after briefly downing tools when a doctor at Mahikeng Provincial Hospital tested positive for Covid-19.
“They downed tools for some parts of the day yesterday but are now back at work,” spokesperson Tebogo Lekgwethwane told News24 on Thursday.
The department denied that the health professionals – who reportedly fear for their lives – are being forced to work.
The doctor tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday.
“He stopped working immediately when he realised his assistant was positive last week,” Lekgwethwane added.
The doctor had been in contact with 12 doctors, 29 nurses and 70 patients.
In addition, 22 staff members, two doctors and 21 patients were affected at a Victoria Private Hospital’s maternity section and theatre.
“He also saw 104 patients at his private surgery,” the spokesperson added.
The affected wards and the private surgery have since been closed for decontamination following the discovery.
The department has not yet responded to News24’s queries on when the wards or the private surgery will reopen as well as where affected patients have been moved to. It will be added once received.
The North West has 58 Covid-19 cases (0.55% of the national total), with 28 recoveries and one death.