A hospital building in northern Kwa-Zulu Natal, in Amatikulu near Eshowe, was burnt to the ground allegedly in protest to is purposed use to treat COVID-19 patients.
The KZN health department expressed disbelief in the torching of the Catherine Booth Hospital, which was planned as a COVID-19 facility. Previously an admin block, the center had recently been rebuilt after it was torched in 2017. According to the health department, a security guard was injured in the incident that took place between midnight and 1 am.,There were also reports of shots fired during the incident.
Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said that she was considering closing the 127-bed hospital, which currently has 39 patients, three of which are in isolation for COVID-19 treatment and awaiting test results.
“We are in a crisis. This is a pandemic that all of us are faced with. And the department has a responsibility to ensure that it provides all the beds that are needed so that those who are Covid-19 positive get the assistance they need.’
“We’re going to continue using this hospital for COVID as and when it is necessary for us to do so. So if the community does not allow us to do that, it means they do not need this hospital.'”We might then need to go back to the premier and request that this facility be closed down, because we’re not going to have a facility that will be a white elephant and not be utilised,” said Simelane-Zulu.