South Africa: Mkhize - Health Workers Are Our Primary Soldiers in COVID-19 Fight, They Have to Be Safe

Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize says no health professional will be forced to work in an area where they do not feel protected.

"We need our staff to be protected and to be safe," Mkhize told the media at a briefing on Tuesday.

"Health professionals must take all the precautions from being infected. Our staff are our primary soldiers in this fight."

The minister was at the Motsepe Foundation's offices in Sandton, Johannesburg, to receive a donation of protective gear from businessman Patrice Motsepe and SA entrepreneur and philanthropist, Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe.

"We have come with excitement to receive donations for some of the most essential PPE (personal protective equipment) - 200 000 surgical masks, boxes of gloves and a few other items. It is a very important contribution," Mkhize explained.

According to the minister, this donation "will help sort a lot of problems".

"Like all parts of the world, our stock is going down. It is difficult to get replacements supplied - even the stock we have has been called on by other countries.

"The real fight is the prices, so we thank the Motsepe's for their swift action and generous donation," Mkhize added.

More cases

South Africa has 1 749 confirmed Covid-19 cases and one more death in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), bringing the total number of deaths from the coronavirus to 13.

The 60-year-old man, who died at a private healthcare facility in Durban, had stage four cancer, the minister confirmed.

Mkhize further highlighted that he is concerned about St Augustine's Hospital in KZN, where quite a number of healthcare professionals tested positive.

"We are concerned about developments at St Augustine's Hospital, where 66 people tested positive over the past few days, 48 of these are staff.

"The provincial department is engaging the hospital about closing parts of the hospital down," Mkhize said.

"We must now trace all the contacts. It is a matter of serious concern and we are dealing with it."

Source: News24

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