Home News 48 NC health workers have tested positive – dept

48 NC health workers have tested positive – dept

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This includes 14 nurses, eight community health care workers and five doctors as well as four emergency medical services (EMS) personnel. Forty-one were in the public sector and seven were from the private sector.

File image. Picture: Reuters

A TOTAL of 48 health care workers in the Northern Cape have tested positive for Covid-19.

This is according to the acting HOD of Health, Dr Deon Theys, who was addressing a virtual media conference on Wednesday.

According to Theys, this includes 14 nurses who have been infected, eight community health care workers and five doctors as well as four emergency medical services (EMS) personnel. Forty-one were in the public sector and seven were from the private sector.

The Namakwa District has no health care workers who have tested positive, while Pixley ka Seme has the highest number at 25.

Theys indicated that the situation regarding health care workers was worrisome, but added that the Province had not been crippled by the number of affected workers and could still manage.

“It has been agreed, however, that additional clinical staff will be needed, especially as we reach the peak.”

Theys added that there were a number of high-risk areas in the Province, which included the Emthanjeni municipal area (De Aar), where the number of cases was 176 per 100 000 of the population, Kareeberg (Colesberg) with 197 per 100 000 of the population, Thembelihle (Hopetown) with 335 per 100 000 and Ubuntu, which borders on the Western Cape, with 177 per 100 000.

“One of the areas of immediate concern is Noupoort, which borders on the Eastern Cape town of Middleburg. Here the number of people who have tested positive is 454 per 100 000 of the population.”

The MEC for Health, Maruping Lekwene, pointed out that many people who lived in Noupoort travelled to Middleburg for work or to do their shopping on an almost daily basis.

He stated that an intervention plan had been finalised for towns like Noupoort that bordered on provinces that had high infection rates, like the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape.

“The plan includes increasing our screening and testing capacity, especially in Noupoort. We have also summonsed some of the Cuban doctors to Noupoort and we will also test as many of the residents as possible and extract them from the community to isolate them. Other interventions will include looking at how we can limit movement, especially between municipality areas and provincial borders in conjunction with the SAPS and the South African Defence Force.”

He stated that the department would also encourage close contacts, for example household members, to quarantine, even if they were asymptomatic.

“We will be revisiting the area to actively encourage community members to use the state quarantine and isolation sites and will also screen and test all households within a 100m radius of those households that test positive.”

Lekwene said public gatherings, which were continuing in these areas, would be stopped with the assistance of the security forces, while social isolation would be intensified.