SOUTH AFRICA

‘We are winning’ – cautious optimism at old aged home where there are 52 Covid-19 cases

By News24 28 June 2020
Caption
(Image of SARS-CoV-2 virions emerging from a cell by the US NIAID, CC BY 2.0)

Thirty-five residents and 17 staff members of a Goodwood home for the aged tested for positive for Covid-19 in a massive scare that seems to be abating, manager Andre Verster said on Sunday.

A 97-year-old resident of the Protea Home for the Aged is still in hospital but there are signs that the resident will beat the virus.

The cases emerged earlier in June when it was discovered that four people who had died, had the novel coronavirus. The discovery led to testing in the frail care section of the home and the diagnosis of 52 cases among residents and staff. The affected people are in isolation.

“We are on day nine already. Nobody had symptoms,” said a hopeful Venter, who manages the home. “So I think we are out of the woods.”

“We are busy winning.”

Families are not allowed to leave care packages for their loved ones during the isolation period.

Verster said the virus hit them even though the facility instituted physical distancing and strict hygiene measures long before President Cyril Ramaphosa’s March announcement that there would be a lockdown.

He said that some of the residents had to leave the facility for medical check-ups and some staff members had to use public transport. Between all of these excursions, somehow the virus entered the facility.

“It is a war,” said Verster.

However, they are hoping that by Thursday, life will go back to the new normal when everybody’s isolation period ends. This week, mass testing will be conducted at a retirement facility on the premises for about 250 more mobile and independent residents.

Verster said that psychologically, it was difficult for the residents because their children could not visit.He said the decontamination and cleansing of the facility was ongoing. News24/DM

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