The Gauteng Health Department is calling for donations of Personal Protective Equipment and ventilators.  The department says these donations will help supplement government resources and will be used at special sites allocated for COVID-19 patients.

This follows as the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU) prepares to go to court on Tuesday, after the national and provincial health ministries allegedly failed to provide protective gear and equipment to health workers. There have been reported shortages of gloves, masks, ventilators which NEHAWU argues puts the lives of health workers at risk.

The Gauteng Health Department’s Kwara Kekana says, “We call on those who wish to contribute to the fight against COVID-19 to donate PPEs and ventilators.  These donations will supplement government resources and will be used at special sites that are being put in place to house COVID-19 patients.  The PPEs such as gloves and masks play an important role in minimizing exposure to the spread of infections while the ventilators assist for the breathing process when the virus has caused damage to the lungs.”

Meanwhile, some essential workers at Livingstone Hospital in Port Elizabeth, in the Eastern Cape, have downed tools – claiming they have not been provided with adequate protective equipment. This includes technicians, artisans, general workers, cooks and laundry staff.

The workers say they no longer feel safe and are only provided with a single pair of gloves and a single mask per day.

In the video below, a report on allegations that six nurses have contracted COVID-19 in KZN:

NEHAWU Provincial Secretary Mieki Jaceni says they have appealed to the relevant departments to release employees who are not provided with adequate protective equipment.

“We have now written a letter to the MEC, to exercise her powers in terms of occupational health, to prohibit the performance of those duties that are endangering and risking the health and safety of our members. That our members must be provided with PPEs (Personal Protective Gears) and the MEC must provide to all the areas concerned. We have given the MEC two days to respond. Failure to do that we are heading to the high court.”

In the video below, hospitals are concerned about the shortage of protective equipment: