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Over 27,000 health workers infected with Covid-19 in South Africa

According to statistics drawn up by the South African ministry of health, more than 27,000 health workers have contracted the virus in the line of duty.

FILE PHOTO: A medical worker wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) takes a swab sample from a man, as South Africa starts to relax some aspects of a stringent nationwide coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown in Diepsloot near Johannesburg, South A
Siphiwe SibekoREUTERS

The South African ministry of health revealed in a statement on Thursday that more than 27,000 health workers tested positive for Covid-19, likely caught while doing their job since the start of the pandemic.

This tally includes 6,027 health workers from the private sector while the number of health workers who contracted the infection from the public sector is 21,333, and 240 health workers have died due to Covid-19-related complications, of which 203 (85%) belong to the public sector.

Out of the total number of the infected medical personnel, 1,644 are doctors, 14,143  are nurses, while 28 were port health workers and 11,545 belong to other miscellaneous categories in the healthcare system.

The ministry statement said, “The overall infection rate amongst health care workers as compared to the total number of cases identified nationally is 5% which is well below the global average of 10%".

The statement further paid tribute to the deceased soldiers who succumbed to the infection while insisting on serving people till the very end, and sent condolences to their families, friends, and colleagues of "these valuable members of the society".

An investigation has been started earlier this month by the health ministry, over the surging numbers of health workers contracting the virus while doing their jobs.

It was found that the main reasons causing the increasing number of infections among medical teams were the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), the uncontrollable surge in cases, and shortage of staff.

Notably, the situation started to subside in the country over the past few days; as the infection rate has significantly dropped down while the recovery rate has soared lately.


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