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Thursday, September 24, 2020
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    Mpumalanga province regretfully records its 1st COVID-19 death in the city of Mbombela

    “The Department will ensure that the family follows all the burial protocols aligned to COVID-19. People must always wear masks and wash their hands with soap for more than 20 seconds and if they suspect that they may be infected, they must visit their local health facility” said MEC Manzini.

    The Mpumalanga Province has recorded the first death related to COVID-19. The case is a 45-year-old female from the City of Mbombela who was seen in our health facility by clinicians on the 26 May 2020.

    The case was assessed by clinicians and met the criteria for Person Under Investigation (PUI) for COVID-19. As per the guideline, all persons who attend our health facilities with respiratory illness and meet the criteria for PUI are tested for COVID-19.

    The patient was diagnosed with upper respiratory tract illness and was admitted on 26 May 2020, pending COVID-19 results. The patient, who was on chronic medication for other underlying medical conditions was admitted in our isolation ward where she was closely monitored and treated by our healthcare professionals in the facility.

    Unfortunately, due to the nature of her underlying medical conditions she passed away on the 30 May 2020 while awaiting her results.

    This is a part of the media press release that was released earlier today.

    This press release was sent on a media WhatsApp group. The WhatsApp group blew up with journalists asking the admin of the group why was the COVID-19 related death only made public now, a week later?

    Mpumalanga province records its 1st covid-19 death in the city of Mbombela
    The media WhatsApp group where the report was sent

    As of yet no one has answered…

    On social media platforms, the public also raised their concerns as to why the COVID-19 related death was only made public a week later.

    These are just two of the comments on Facebook
    These are just two of the comments on Facebook

    This is a big concern. The public looks to The Mpumalanga Department of Health to release correct numbers and ensure that the numbers are released as soon as possible.

    This is not the first time The Bulletin has reported on this matter. Below is the link to the previous article.

    READ ALSO: COVID-19 Stats – The DA submits a PAIA form to force Mpumalanga Health MEC to release correct daily stats of COVID-19

    In the press statement, it is said that there was a shortage of testing kits and that there was a delay in receiving the results from the NHLS. The press release also states that the results were received on 4 June.

     This begs the question: Why wait 3 days before informing the public if the results were then in fact received on the 4th of June?  

    The National Department of Health has been notified of the death and the Minister of Health authorised that the Province may release the media statement on the first COVID-19 related death in Mpumalanga,” the press release said.

    It should still not take 3 days to obtain permission to release the news to the public nor should the testing take so long that a person passes away.

    “The Department will ensure that the family follows all the burial protocols aligned to COVID-19. People must always wear masks and wash their hands with soap for more than 20 seconds and if they suspect that they may be infected, they must visit their local health facility” said MEC Manzini in the press release.

    Mpumalanga Health MEC Sasekani Manzini
    Mpumalanga Health MEC Sasekani Manzini

    This is the press release from The Mpumalanga Department of Health:

    The Mpumalanga Province has recorded the first death related to COVID-19. The case is a 45-year-old female from City of Mbombela who was seen in our health facility by clinicians on the 26 May 2020.

    The case was assessed by clinicians and met the criteria for Person Under Investigation (PUI) for COVID-19. As per the guideline, all persons who attend our health facilities with respiratory illness and meet the criteria for PUI are tested for COVID-19.

    The patient was diagnosed with upper respiratory tract illness and was admitted on 26 May 2020, pending COVID-19 results. The patient, who was on chronic medication for other underlying medical conditions was admitted in our isolation ward where she was closely monitored and treated by our healthcare professionals in the facility.

    Unfortunately, due to the nature of her underlying medical conditions she passed away on the 30 May 2020 while awaiting her results.

    Due to the shortage of reagents (test kits) in the country, there was a delay in obtaining the results from the NHLS and the province received the result on the 4 June 2020. The Department was always in contact with the family of the patient. When a person is listed as a PUI, contacts are listed immediately so that when the results are received and are positive for COVID-19, the contact tracing is initiated for all contacts and daily monitoring done.

    Our healthcare workers have been trained on how to identify and manage all suspected and confirmed COVID-19 as per guidelines. Our healthcare workers are encouraged to wear Personal Protective Equipment’s (PPE) at all times so that they are protected against hospital acquired infections. Monitoring for adhering to guidelines is done by managers.

    “The Department will ensure that the family follows all the burial protocols aligned to COVID-19. People must always wear masks and wash their hands with soap for more than 20 seconds and if they suspect that they may be infected, they must visit their local health facility” said MEC Manzini.

    READ ALSO: SANEF Calls On SAPS to Ensure The Protection and Safety of a Journalist Forced to go into Hiding

    As of the 6th of June 2020, the province has recorded 171 positive cases of COVID-19, with case number 172 to 181 misalloca ted to the province. The 171 cases include 81 females and 90 males. There are 94 recoveries and 77 active cases. There is a total of 3 538 866 screening with 2 220 886 conducted in community screenings, 351 944 conducted in hospitals, 619 135 conducted in Primary Health Care facilities and 346 901 other screenings that have been conducted in roadblocks, Malls, Old Age Homes to Correctional Services.

    The National Department of Health has been notified of the death and the Minister of Health authorised that the Province may release the media statement on the first COVID-19 related death in Mpumalanga.

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    Mpumalanga province regretfully records its 1st COVID-19 death in the city of Mbombela