The Northern Cape Health Department has appointed 56 more doctors, nurses and other medical personnel to the province’s Namakwa District where two potential COVID-19 hotspots have been identified.
The new health practitioners are part of a bigger cohort of 424 health workers that were appointed provincially.
The Namakwa District is home to the only beaches that remain open in the country and saw a rapid increase in infections after the festive season.
Provincial Health MEC Maruping Lekwene maintains that the department has taken measures to mitigate the impact of the rise of infections on its facilities in the district.
“There are currently two potential hotspots in the Namakwa District, which is the Hantam area and the Namakhoi sub-district. We also confirm the receipt of clinical equipment that was procured and delivered to the hospitals and key facilities in the district to support our clinical personnel. When visiting the health facilities, we were satisfied that the availability of PPE is sufficient but we committed to ensure that we have increase the availability of PPE for any eventuality,“ says Lekwene.
The province had earlier placed a moratorium on all government vacant positions citing lack of funds, but an exception was made for health, due to the rising number of coronavirus cases.
Doctors at the Robert Sobukwe Hospital in Kimberley downed tools in December, demanding that all vacant positions at the hospital be filled following a moratorium placed in all government vacancies at least until the end of the financial year.
At that time, doctors, nurses and all clinical staff complained of being overworked, the government eventually conceded as it was not going to be possible for health to operate with a high rate of vacancies, as outlined in the video below: