The Gauteng Department of Health recently announced to friends and family members of the easing of hospital visiting hours. These have been amended to allow one visitor per patient for 15 minutes.
In a statement, the department said the amendment will permit relatives and friends of patients to spend time with their loved ones whilst adhering to COVID-19 non-pharmaceutical measures such as social distancing, minimising overcrowding, and hospital congestions.
Gauteng Health spokesperson Kwara Kekana said: “These measures are not ideal, as many relatives and friends of patients in our care would like to spend more time with their loved ones, however, in a bid to ensure we minimize the spread of COVID-19 virus, hospitals and community healthcare centres need to adhere to non-pharmaceutical measures.
“This will also ensure promotion and adherence to occupational health and safety measures whilst promoting optimum infection prevention, and control measures at all Gauteng public healthcare centres.”
Kekana pleaded with the public to adhere to safety measures as they have been put in place in the interest of patients, health-care workers and members of the public. “We all need to play our part to stop the spread of the coronavirus and reduce the chances of a third wave, of infections,” she said.
Relatives of patients are urged by the department to get contact details of the ward where they are admitted so they can call whenever possible without having to visit the hospital.