Full report: How 135 people at St Augustine's Hospital in Durban got COVID-19

The report outlines in detail how SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, spread through Netcare's 149-bed facility in Durban. This piece in Bhekisisa also contains simple take-away messages and recommendations on how to protect health care workers and hospitals from COVID-19. Download the full investigative report here.

How do you stop the spread of COVID-19 in hospitals? Handwashing, this report shows. (Burst)

The report outlines in detail how SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, spread through Netcare's 149-bed facility in Durban

Resource details:

Publication: Report into a nosocomial outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) at Netcare St Augustine's Hospital.


Richard Lessells, infectious diseases specialist at KwaZulu?Natal Research Innovation & Sequencing Platform, Krisp

Tulio de Oliveira, Krisp director

Yunus Moosa, head of the department of infectious diseases at the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine

Publication date: 15 May 2020

What the documents are about:

Key take-aways from the report:

- The hospital outbreak was caused by a single patient admitted to the hospital's emergency department.

- At St. Augustine's, 80 staff and 39 patients in at least five different wards were infected between 9 March and 30 April.

- The outbreak led to an additional 21 cases at a Durban nursing home at St. Augustine's outpatient dialysis unit.

- The main way the virus spread was most probably through droplets containing the virus transferred by health workers.

- Slow detection of COVID-19 cases fuelled the spread of the virus. By the time health workers picked up the first case, 16 other people had already been infected.


- Staff must be retrained in COVID-19 prevention with a special focus on hand hygiene.

- Facilities must monitor staff adherence to infection control rules.

- Physical distance inside and outside the hospital is crucial.

- Facilities could consider testing staff weekly.

- A three-tier system must be put in place for both entry and admission to the facility. That includes a 'red zone' for confirmed COVID-19 patients, an 'orange zone' for suspected cases, and a 'green zone' for people who are unlikely to be infected.

Download the 'https://www.krisp.org.za/news.php?id=421'>full investigative report here.

News date: 2020-05-29