• Netcare private hospitals have suspended all visiting hours in light of the novel coronavirus. 
  • Exceptions will only apply to nurseries, and paediatric units – where one parent will be allowed.  
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Netcare, one of South Africa’s largest private hospital groups, has suspended all visiting hours at its hospitals, except in specific special circumstances, as a precaution against the new coronavirus.

The number of local coronavirus, or SARS-Cov-2, cases jumped to 709 on Wednesday, the single largest jump since the virus was first reported in the country on March 5. 

Netcare said the suspension applies to all general wards, intensive care units (ICUs), and high care units. 

Exceptions are only applicable to nurseries, neonatal intensive care units (NICUs), and in paediatrics. 

Only one parent at a time will be allowed to visit newborns, and children in paediatric units, on the condition that they are coronavirus free, and adhere to very strict infection prevention controls.

No grandparents and siblings will be allowed to visit.

For patients who are gravely ill, an exception may be granted by the hospital general manager, and authorised by the regional director. A minimal number of visitors will be granted this exception and they will be required to wear a mask.

“In light of the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic, we needed to take extraordinary measures to protect all healthcare teams and our patients who cannot be discharged,” Netcare CEO Dr Richard Friedland said. 

(Compiled by James de Villiers)