Home South African Nehawu calls on govt to ramp up fight against new variant and...

Nehawu calls on govt to ramp up fight against new variant and dreaded fourth wave

137

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union said government cannot afford to be under-prepared and have a lacklustre response as in the previous waves of Covid-19 in South Africa

File picture: EPA

THE NATIONAL Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) has called on the government to put in place “extra adequate measures” in South Africa’s health-care system to effectively respond to the new variant and the dreaded fourth wave.

“These measures should entail among others, the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE), procuring hospital beds, procuring oxygen points and ventilators and employing more health-care workers including absorbing community health-care workers,” said Zola Saphetha, general secretary of Nehawu.

“The government cannot afford to be under-prepared and have a lacklustre response as in the previous waves”.

He said health-care workers in South Africa have experienced the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic, especially with the previous waves.

“Government should effectively respond to this new variant and the fourth wave and not put workers lives in danger because of complacency and unpreparedness,” Saphetha said.

Nehawu urged government to accelerate the vaccination roll-out programme to people and further drive a comprehensive educational awareness programme about the safety of vaccines in providing protection against severe illness, death and hospitalisation.

“This will also assist a great deal in dealing with the vaccine hesitancy that is prevalent amongst our people,” Saphetha said.

“We welcome the announcement to provide health-care workers with a booster jab of the J&J vaccine, however, government should develop better ways of encouraging health-care workers to speedily get their booster jab.

“We also note the application by Pfizer to the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority to provide booster shots. These are welcomed interventions in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.”

On Sunday, South Africa reported 2,858 new Covid-19 cases and a six Covid-19-related deaths, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said.

This comes days after a new variant was discovered.

“The institute reports 2,858 new Covid-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2,961,406,” said the institute.

The NICD says the increase represents a 9.8% positivity rate.

The further six Covid-19-related deaths has brought total fatalities to 89,797.

A total of 19,413, 079 tests have been conducted in both public and private sectors.

The majority of new cases are from Gauteng (81%), followed the Western Cape accounting (5%).

Previous articleCountry needs to reach vaccination target – Ramaphosa
Next articleTexas Governor slammed for claiming that South Africans carrying Omicron are illegally entering US southern border