A hospital in Stanger, north of Durban, has closed its doors to new patients after 19 people tested positive for Covid-19.
The General Justice Gizenga Memorial hospital, formerly the Stanger hospital, will still taking new patients with "immediate effect", said the KwaZulu-Natal health department.
The department said that the 19 cases involved "nine mothers, two babies, four doctors and one nurse".
"As a department, we are extremely concerned by these developments and have urgently exercised our constitutional obligation to prevent a further outbreak of the virus," it said.
"What is of particular concern to us is the fact that these infections have taken place in spite of the hospital’s infection prevention and control (IPC) measures, as well as the requisite personal protective equipment (PPE) that has been made available to staff."
It said the first case was a medical consultant from the hospital’s paediatric department, who fell ill on April 26 and received her test results on April 29.
An investigation has been launch to "seek to establish, among others, where the virus came from and how it was able to spread at such a rapid rate within the hospital".
"The hospital, with 219 patients, has effectively been turned into a quarantine site. All staff and patients in the surgical ward and ICU have been tested. The remaining staff and patients will be tested this [Monday] evening and tomorrow [Tuesday]," said the department.
"This interim plan will be reassessed in the next 24 hours."