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Covid-19 infection rate higher among public healthcare workers

Published Aug 13, 2020

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DURBAN - Nurses in the public sector have been more affected with Coronavirus than those in the private sector, according to data shared by the health ministry.

Over 200 nurses in the public sector have succumbed to the Coronavirus, while only 37 have died in the private sector.

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In total there have been over 27 000 health care workers in South Africa, which have been infected with the Coronavirus; majority of those are nurses with over 14 000 being infected. Over 1 600 doctors have been infected, while the least affected are port health workers at one percent.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Nurses Union of South Africa (Denosa) has laid the blame of these avoidable deaths on the provincial department’s insufficient supply of PPE’s and the poor working conditions nurses find themselves in.

The overall infection rate among health care workers as compared to the total number of cases identified nationally is five percent which is well below the global average of 10 percent, explained Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.

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“We salute these fallen soldiers and pay tribute to them for their commitment to serving the people of South Africa right until the very end. We extend our condolences to all the family, friends and colleagues of the valuable members of society,” said Mkhize.

In terms of the breakdown for provinces, the figures revealed that the embattled Eastern Cape had recorded the highest number of fatalities among its health workers. The province accounted for 85 of total deaths. Gauteng recorded 43 while the Western Cape recorded 38.

Meanwhile, Limpopo reported that it had no deaths among its health workers. The latest national statistics that were released by the health ministry on Wednesday revealed that the province has only accounted for 127 of the 11,010 nationwide Covid-related deaths since the outbreak.

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