Fake News: Netcare Umhlanga Hospital is NOT a COVID-19 hotspot

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The Netcare Umhlanga hospital in Durban denies claims it’s currently a COVID-19 hotspot and told patients to stay away. This follows a fake voice-message circulating on social media platforms stating that the hospital was a no-go zone for prospective patients.

UMHLANGA HOSPITAL IS NOT A COVID-19 HOTSPOT

The Umhlanga hospital describes the fake message as “inaccurate, misleading and highly irresponsible”.

“It has come to our attention that there is a fake voice-message doing the rounds on social media, alleging that the hospital is a COVID-19 hotspot, that we have run out of beds and that cars are queuing up at our hospital. This statement is entirely incorrect and highly irresponsible,” says Sara Nayager, general manager at the hospital.

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Describing KZN’s COVID-19 situation as “fluid”, Nayager said the hospital has in its care a few patients infected with the coronavirus and they are confined to a designated area.

“We would like to remind the public that spreading fake news relating to COVID-19 is a criminal offence. We urge the public not to recklessly share unverified social media messages that could cause undue panic and be detrimental to the health of people in our community.”

Sara Nayager

The hospital urged the community not to neglect their health and said it is prepared to serve the community for any medical emergency.

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INCREASE OF COVID-19 HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS A CONCERN

Meanwhile, the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) was concerned by the increasing number of COVID-19 hospital admissions.

According to the Institute, hospitals in South Africa had a total of 1150 COVID-19 related admissions in the past 24 hours. Gauteng hospitals admitted 587 COVID-19 patients – presently the highest admissions in the last 24 hours.

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The SABC had reported, on Thursday, that the majority of Gauteng hospitals were diverting patients to other hospitals.  

National Hospital Network’s CEO, Neil Nair confirmed saying: “The vast majority of our hospitals in Gauteng are on patient divert, meaning they do not have the capacity to admit additional patients. Patients are being diverted to alternative hospitals; both within the private and public sectors. We are working with the Gauteng department of health; we are sharing information on bed capacity.”

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