545 Netcare and Life Healthcare employees infected with Covid-19

Private healthcare groups are concerned about community spread of the virus from employees.

Private healthcare groups Netcare and Life Healthcare told both houses of Parliament's health committees that less than hundreds of their staff had been infected with the Covid-19 virus. Representatives from the groups presented to the health communities are committed to taking Covid-19 patients from the public sector, even at a financial loss. 

They also stated that they were concerned about the community spread of the virus from employees given that 313 of Life Healthcare’s 16,376 (1.9 percent) employees had been infected and 232 of approximately 21,000 Netcare staff (1.1 percent) had been infected with the virus across the country. 

Community spread, which refers to the manner in which the virus is transferred without any known contact with a sick person, is a big risk not only for the healthcare groups but also the communities in which the companies and infected individuals are situated. 

Lif said is taking necessary precautions to avoid the speed of the virus by continuously disinfecting surfaces and through environments along with rotation of shifts to minimise emotional and physical burden for employees. It also said that employees were monitored via a dedicated staff tracker, which is reported to the Department of Health on a daily basis.