Families now free to visit loved ones in hospital

Elmon Tshikhudo

Thousands of patients in South African hospitals can now receive up to two visitors a day.

For months now families were unable to visit their loved ones in hospital because of Covid-19 precautionary measures. 

Mashudu Matamela was frustrated by such regulations when her mother was diagnosed with cancer and hospitalised last year.

This was a nightmare for the family from Nzhelele in the Louis Trichardt area. 

Matamela says being separated from their sick mother Masindi Mudiwa when she needed them the most was frustrating.

“She has been in hospital for more than three months now and at times I felt that I am sort of neglecting her having to care for her remotely. I am very close to her in such a way that if I was always next to her she would have healed already,” she said.

But all that is now history as the government issued a circular detailing the eased restrictions on Friday.

According to the circular, visiting hours will be limited to one hour per day from 12h00-13h00, effective from Friday 12 March 2021 with a maximum of two visitors per day.

Each visitor is allowed 15 minutes with the patient and visitors must be 18 years or older, except in special circumstances.

The no hospital restriction hit communities very hard at a time when many relatives were hospitalised due to the coronavirus.

Some even passed on without being seen by relatives.

Matamela said: “We know that this is for our own health but this has taken such a long time.

Now that the restrictions have been eased we will from time to time be able to visit her and be able to assess her progress,” she said.

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