The National Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) expressed deep concern over staff shortages at hospitals across Gauteng, as facilities struggle to cope with an influx of COVID-19 patients.

This after the Gauteng Health Department confirmed that the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Tshwane is facing difficulties coping with an overflow of critically ill COVID-19 patients.

Images, doing the rounds on social media, depict a grim picture of patients using oxygen tanks while lying on beds outside the emergency entrance.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura and Health MEC Dr Nomathemba Makgethi visited Steve Biko Academic Hospital.

Nehawu’s Gauteng Coordinator Clement Marule says, “Early last week we said that we are going to have a serious challenge when people come back from holidays and we did mention Steve Biko as one of the hospitals that is strategic in the province.”

“Today we are having a meeting with the health MEC on the plan because the situation is getting out of hand. There is a concern so far as a shortage of staff and those workers contracting this virus,” adds Marule.

Some healthcare workers have mixed feelings about a COVID-19 vaccine: