Free State has lost 24 health workers to Covid-19, 17 more in hospital Picture: AP
Free State has lost 24 health workers to Covid-19, 17 more in hospital Picture: AP

Free State has lost 24 health workers to Covid-19, 17 more in hospital

By Sihle Mlambo Time of article published Aug 18, 2020

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Johannesburg - The Free State has lost 24 health workers to Covid-19 and a further 17 have been admitted to hospitals around the province.

Data from the provincial health department shows there are currently 544 health workers in the Free State who are currently infected with Covid-19, while 1 295 have recovered from the virus.

One of the health workers who lost their lives to the virus was Welkom’s Dr Mohammed Bobat, who died last week after being admitted to hospital.

Free State Health spokesperson Mondli Mvambi said the doctor, who was hired by the department as an anaesthetist for over a decade, had tested positive for the virus in late July

“He was admitted in ICU with severe respiratory symptoms on 26 July 2020 at Medi Clinic,” he said.

Dr Mohammed Bobat Picture: Supplied

The doctor, a revered man in the community who was described as self-less and loving, died on August 14. He had comorbidities.

“His family and colleagues are deeply saddened by his death. We are also deeply saddened by this and all other deaths of other colleagues due to Covid19 related diseases.

“We appreciate public support that we receive during these difficult times when we lose our colleagues, day in and day out. This puts a severe threat of fear and panic in many health workers as they ask themselves, who is next.

“Health workers are encouraged to always take good care of themselves by donning the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment and doffing it appropriately in the designated spaces within health facilities,” said Mvambi.

He said Free State Health MEC Montseng Tsiu was wishing all health workers who had tested positive a speedy recovery and was sending her condolences to those who had lost loved ones.

“She wished those that are infected a speedy recovery whilst thanking them for their bravery, loyalty, dedication and supreme sacrifices they pay for the health care needs of all the people of our land,” he said.

The Free State Health department is calling on all people to take “personal responsibility” as South Africa enters level 2, which has more industries returning to work, inter-provincial travel permitted, the sale of alcohol allowed and social visits allowed.

“As we go to alert level 2 of the lockdown regulations of the National State of Disaster, we appeal to all our people to take personal responsibility to combat the scourge of Covid19.

“We appeal to everyone to continue taking heed of the health advice of using masks, keeping social distance, practising hygiene cough etiquette, regular hand washing with running water and soap as well as hand sanitizer,” said Mvambi.

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