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Block 8 nurse may sue over 'doubtful' COVID-19 results

Dr Malaki Tshipiyagae, Health Services Director PIC: PRESSPHOTO
The Block 8 clinic-based nurse who was said to have tested positive for COVID-19 after being deployed at a Special Parliamentary Session, is demanding answers from the Director of Health Services.

The nurse, Morobi Dinao who was deployed at Parliament on April 7, 2020 during the extraordinary parliamentary sitting, doubts whether he ever tested positive for the virus, as he was never shown his results even upon demanding them.

Dinao finds it hard to believe the initial positive results as his intimate partner, who he was with for the duration of the lockdown, tested negative.

According to a letter dated May 26, 2020 addressed to the Director of Health Services, Dr Malaki Tshipayagae, Dinao is demanding answers regarding his results.

Dinao, through his attorney, Uyapo Ndadi said after being told he tested positive for coronavirus following a routine test carried out on April 5, he was not shown the results of the test, which was against best clinical practice.

“On the 13th April 2020, client demanded to see his results. He was moved from pillar to post and no one was forthcoming with his results. No one seemed to know where the results were. Even the hospital that admitted him did not have a copy of his results,” read a letter from Ndadi.

According to him, on April 7, 2020 he was deployed at a Parliament session dealing with the State of Public Emergency and on the second day of work in the evening around 10pm, he received a telephone call from Dr Godfrey Simonga and later from Dr Morrison Sinvula informing him that he tested positive for COVID-19.

He was then asked to report to Sir Ketumile Masire Teaching Hospital for admission and on April 9, 2020 he was transported by ambulance to the hospital around 3pm.

Dinao pointed out that after intense and repeated demands about his results, he was shown the results through his room glass door from outside by a Dr Feledi. “I asked for a copy of the results and the doctor said he will revert to me as he still has to enquire from his superiors whether he should avail a copy. The doctor never returned with the copy of the results, and let alone provide feedback from his superiors,” he said. The nurse explained that instead the doctor came back to carry out another COVID-19 test and when he asked why he was initially admitted without his results, the doctor’s answer was that he was

admitted on the strength of an instruction from Dr Sinvula.

He further said he was given a copy of his initial results by a nurse when he was being discharged on April 24, 2020.

“No explanation of the results was given to me and it became apparent that the results were not signed and thus bringing into question the authenticity of the results,” he said.

Now, Dinao is demanding that he be given results that are signed by the person who carried out the laboratory tests and the person who approved/confirmed the results and details of the verifications. Moreover, he wants Dr Tshipayagae to give an account of the delay in providing him with his initial results, provide a comprehensive answer to all the other irregularities. He is also demanding answers, as the specimen submission form that carried his results was 'markedly different' from the one that he completed on the day of test in several ways.

“The form does not have the laboratory personnel signature portion yet the one he duly completed had it.

The client had indicated that he had pre-existing medical conditions, being a sore throat and asthma and the results form that he received did not indicate the same as the relevant boxes were not ticked,” further reads the letter.

On a further examination, Dinao said he also noticed that the results form at the bottom was cancelled or highlighted in dark so as to conceal what was initially written with no signature provided against the cancellation.

He said this was concerning because he observed that the portion that was cancelled is where the results of his colleagues are stated in their forms.

Lastly, the nurse says he is further disturbed by the fact that when he carried out a follow- up test to confirm whether indeed he was still negative on April 21, 2020 he was told by one Dr Mokgatle that his results were not in the form that she prescribed the test with. He therefore had to test again on April 23, 2020 and the results came out negative the next day so he doubts the integrity of the testing processes or the professionalism of the personnel involved in the processes.

Dinao has given the director five days to respond to his demands.




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