South Africa

Pretoria home for the aged hit by 3 Covid-19 deaths, infections

PRETORIA - Three residents of the Jaffa Home for Jewish Aged in Pretoria who tested positive for Covid-19 have died, and nine are being treated in hospital.

According to a report in the South African Jewish Report, Covid-19 has had a big impact on Jewish homes for the aged, with 27 cases in the large Chevrah Kadisha care facilities in Johannesburg and nine at Highlands House in Cape Town.

The Jaffa residents who died in the past week are Shirley Vardi, 92, Eddie Karp, 87, and Selma Abro, 93.

They were three of 26 Jaffa residents who tested positive two weeks ago out of 79 residents. Eleven out of 88 staff members have also tested positive, the report said as the home’s director, Mark Isaacs, paid tribute to the three.

He said the past few days had been “extremely difficult, with residents and staff - including himself - receiving counselling.

“It has been hard on staff, who know we tried our best to prevent the virus entering the home.

“The residents are anxious and fearful, and it has been tough for them to be confined to their rooms.”

Only designated nursing staff, attired in full personal protective equipment are visiting those who tested positive and access to frail-care section is restricted to authorised nursing staff, with no visitors allowed.

The care home sector has been particularly hard hit by the virus, with Britain recording 20 000 deaths in care homes from Covid-19, while reports from the EU suggest that half of coronavirus deaths came in care homes in countries in the region.

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