South Africa has seen yet another big jump in new coronavirus cases. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has announced that the confirmed number of infections has risen to 11 350.
Speaking during the commemoration of International Nurses Day at the King Edward Hospital in Durban, Mkhize said the infected people included 580 healthcare workers such as nurses and doctors.
“KZN 1 394; Limpopo 54; Mpumalanga 63; North West 51; Northern Cape 30; Western Cape 6 105 … making a total of 11 350. As of to date, a total of 369 697 tests have been conducted.”
The country’s COVID-19 death toll passed the 200 mark, with 4 357 recoveries on Monday.
Combating the virus from the frontlines
Across South Africa, the selfless role of nurses is being honoured through symbolic candle lighting ceremonies.
Mkhize says he is committed to ensuring that no nurse will be allowed to treat or screen COVID-19 patients, without critical Personal Protective Equipment.
“We are resolute in ensuring that all health professionals are provided with the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment and the requisite tools of the trade. As we celebrate our nurses and midwives, I would like to affirm our commitment to ensuring that no nurses will be allowed to care for patients without the appropriate protective equipment; be it at a community level during testing and screening or in the health facility.”
Health Minister holds a media briefing at the King Edward hospital in Durban:
Meanwhile, Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde, has commended health workers for leading the fight against COVID-19. He was speaking at Ceres Hospital in the Boland during the opening of a new testing centre.
Winde says the provincial government is prepared to help workers with the needed protective equipment. He says the Ceres area has been identified as a hotspot for the virus in the province.
The Western Cape currently has over 6 000 positive cases and over 100 deaths.
Western Cape Health Minister, Nomafrench Mbombo, says it is regrettable that two nurses have died of COVID-19 in the province.
The workers have interrupted formal proceedings where Mbombo was addressing staff as part of the World Nursing Day. They are demanding Personal Protection Equipment among others.
They allege that they are being exposed to positive patients without any PPEs. Mbombo says the government has provided specific guidelines on how the issue of PPEs should be handled.