South African health workers are stretched as coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in the country near one million. The country has recorded 14 305 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24-hour cycle, putting the cumulative number at 968 563.
More than 3 700 doctors and nurses in the Free State have contracted the virus, and 44 of them have succumbed to COVID-19 related complications.
Professional nurse, Ithabeleng Matjeka, says the whole experience is psychologically straining.
“In nursing, we believe in helping and giving life with patients recovering. The deaths when coming to COVID-19 they are more than under normal circumstances. And it’s something that really is tearing us apart, because we also put ourselves in those families. Now is your mother, she is been sick out of the blue she is gone. It is not easy.”
Free State healthcare workers tell the tale of their ordeal:
In September, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said COVID-19 had claimed the lives of 240 heath workers in the public sector.
Mkhize said government is committed to making sure that health workers are protected.
“At this point, our number of both private and public is around 31 000 who are infected and we have lost about 240 of those. We really do feel very sad, we have lost some members or even the fact that some of them have been infected. We will continue to commit ourselves to ensure that all of them are protected as much as possible.”
Minister Zweli Mkhize calls on health workers not to lose hope:
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