President Cyril Ramaphosa thanked all the essential service workers during the nationwide lockdown, who have helped contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The number of COVID-19 deaths in South Africa has risen to three while the number of infections has increased to 1 326, with only 31 full recoveries.

Addressing the nation on Monday night, Ramaphosa said South Africans needed to work together to reduce the number of infections.

He said, “We would like to thank our nurses, doctors and other health workers – our volunteers and NGOs. The 18 000 security personnel, the farm worker who are helping to keep us supplied with food, the technician in the power station working to keep the lights on. I speak of the caregiver who comes in everyday to tend to the most vulnerable of our citizens, I speak about the taxi driver, the refuse collector, the bus driver, the supermarket cashier, the hospital cleaner, the petrol attendant and all those essential service workers – you are our unsung heroes and we salute you.”

South African health workers recently complained about lack of protective gear

Gauteng healthcare workers test positive for COVID-19

Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku says six healthcare workers have tested positive for the coronavirus and are in self-isolation where they are being monitored.

Gauteng has the highest numbers with regards to infections, totaling 618. The overall number of infections country-wide now stands at 1 326.

The Health Department has expressed concern over the rising number of infections among health officials. Masuku addressed the media in Johannesburg, on the interventions being taken during the 21-day lockdown period.

“We’ve got six healthcare workers who have been found to be positive with COVID-19 and with the help of occupational health specialists in the department and in different facilities, we are tracing them and looking forward in making sure that they are well. And their contacts are also being traced and these six healthcare workers do not have any serious symptoms, they are in isolation now and we are looking at their situation on a daily basis.”

Gauteng Premier David Makhura says the provincial government has trained over 4 000 community healthcare workers to help with tracing efforts.

Addressing the media in Johannesburg, Makhura said there are challenges but his government is doing everything in its power to avoid the spread of the virus. He says tracing those who have come into contact with people who have tested positive for COVID-19 has been a priority for his administration.

“Contact tracing is a very important area of our work and we have improved a lot in that regard. We have been worried about the number of contacts that were not traceable. We have increased significantly in tracking down those contacts and this is because of the work of our tracers. We have trained now over 4 000 community healthcare workers who are a very important part of the tracing teams that have been deployed on the ground.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the nation on the measures currently being undertaken to contain the coronavirus pandemic

 

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