Cape Town – The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) on Friday said it was saddened by the increasing number of Covid-19 deaths in the country.
According to the latest figures, South Africa has recorded just under 600,000 Covid-19 cases and 12,618 deaths since the first case was confirmed in the country in March.
The HPCSA said in a statement that this number included health-care workers who died of Covid-19.
According to the Department of Health, 27,360 health-care workers from the public and private sectors are reported to have been infected with the coronavirus.
“It is unfortunate that 240 of the health-care workers have succumbed to Covid-19. Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, health-care workers have selflessly put their lives at risk and, as a result, making them vulnerable to the virus. It is our obligation to ensure that we preserve our assets and work together to assist our health-care workers by not overwhelming the health-care system,” the HPCSA said.
It added that personal protective equipment (PPE) was a necessity for health-care workers, especially for those working on the front line. It was the duty of the employers to ensure that the appropriate PPE was provided at the appropriate level of care.
The provision of PPE and a conducive and safe working environment will enable front-line workers to carry out their duties effectively and efficiently each day.
The health sector has lost several workers to Covid-19. These front-line workers go over and above the call of duty to ensure that they save lives. As the country is now in level 2 lockdown, the HPCSA said it encouraged the public to continue to practise social distancing, washing of hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based sanitiser.
The HPCSA extended its condolences to the families of all who have died of Covid-19.
“We find ourselves in uncharted territory with the outbreak of this virus. Every day brings new challenges and the HPCSA will continue to provide guidance and support to its health-care practitioners. We thank our health-care practitioners for their hard work and dedication. We salute them on this mission of saving lives,” said HPCSA president Kgosi Letlape.
African News Agency