Home News Protection of frontline workers in the health sector of paramount importance says...

Protection of frontline workers in the health sector of paramount importance says Health minister

304
SHARE

According to the figures supplied, as of 11 September, a cumulative total of 32,429 healthcare workers in South Africa had been detected with Coronavirus.

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize conveyed his condolences to all the loved ones of the deceased healthworkers and thanked the colleagues who took care of them in their final hours. Picture: GCIS

A TOTAL of 878 healthcare workers in the Northern Cape have tested positive for Covid-19, with nine deaths to date.

This is according to Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, who gave a breakdown of Covid-19 cases among healthcare workers in the country on Monday.

According to the figures supplied, as of 11 September, a cumulative total of 32,429 healthcare workers nationally had been detected with Coronavirus. “Sadly, 257 succumbed to COVID-19.”

In the Northern Cape, 878 healthcare workers were infected with the virus, with 59 having to be hospitalised. Nine succumbed to Covid-19 in hospital, while 43 have been discharged.

“The protection of frontline workers in the health sector remains of paramount importance,” Dr Mkhize said.

“We reiterate: no PPE no work! “

He added that the department continued to track the numbers of health workers who are infected in each province.

“Our system now has direct linkage with the persal system so that any health worker who is diagnosed with COVID-19 is immediately identified.”

He conveyed his condolences to all the loved ones of the deceased and thanked the colleagues who took care of our heroes in their final hours.

Dr Mkhize added that Occupational Health and Safety Committees (OHS) had now been established in 3,849 public health facilities.

“As per the previous directive, members of unions must be represented in all these structures. This will assist in constant monitoring of issues affecting health workers including where there is shortage of PPEs.”

In his report, Dr Mkhize pointed out that the number of detected cases countrywide continued to decline. “Since August 22, we have reported under 3,000 cases a day – at the height of the epidemic during the month of July we would report anything between 10,000 and 15,000 cases a day.”

He stated further that supporting this decline was also a demonstrable decline in persons under investigation, general ward admissions, ICU admissions, deaths and excess deaths. “Consistency across these indicators reassures us that indeed we are in the midst of a trough in the pandemic.”

The NICD COVID Surveillance in Selected Hospitals Report of 11 September 2020, which outlines analyses of data collected from 459 public and private facilities across the country, shows a downward trend in general ward and ICU admissions and deaths.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) meanwhile released a situational report on 10 September 2020, which confirmed the decline as reported by NICD.

According to Mkhize, this report showed a 42% decline of detected cases in the preceding two weeks and a 28,9% decline in deaths in the same period.

“Bed Occupancy and Oxygen Demand Bed occupancy and oxygen demand is also declining. The percentage of beds currently occupied by COVID-19 patients nationally is under 10% for non ICU beds and under 30% for ICU beds.”

“We also have reports from Afrox indicating that oxygen demand has decreased nationally in the past few weeks.”

Regarding statements about restrictions under the National State of Disaster, Mkhize pointed out that having observed evidence that suggests a sustained decline in Coronavirus transmission, the Department of Health had considered easing restrictions in various aspects – such as the curfew, sale of alcohol, religious gatherings, and travel restrictions – for the National Coronavirus Command Council, which will make final recommendations to Cabinet.

“Whatever decisions are made, it is important to emphasize that the risk of spreading and contracting COVID-19 still remains and that non-pharmaceutical interventions remain important as we learn to co-exist with the Coronavirus.”