Hundreds of healthcare workers are picketing outside the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital in Durban. The workers, who are affiliated to National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu), say they are being forced to work despite over a 100 of their colleagues testing positive for the coronavirus.

The workers are calling on management to test all of them for the virus.

Previously, healthcare workers at the same facility protested over a shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Nehawu President Mzandile Makwayiba says healthcare workers are anxious.

“They are frustrated by management. They have been a wide number of workers, nurses who are affected by coronavirus now every time when this happens management does not apply compassion in dealing with those affected. And the process of testing the others becomes a problem, and the question of quarantine as well becomes an issue. It creates anxiety for workers. The biggest problem in the department of health is their ability to lead.”

One of the hospital’s ICU nurses, who wants to remain anonymous, says the number of staff is not enough to care for the high number of COVID-19 positive patients.

“We are here because we are not happy about our working conditions. In ICU patient ratio is supposed to be  1 is to 1. They are critically ill they are ventilated. So in the past week, we have been working under a lot of stress being short staffed. We were doing three to four ventilators that is compromising the patient care.”

In the video below, Nehawu expresses concern about the rise of COVID-19 infections among healthcare workers: