Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in Limpopo is seriously concerned about the increasing number of infected healthcare workers with COVID-19 in the province, particularly nurses.
This concern was aggravated by the incidences not limited to Pietersburg Provincial Hospital whereby 12 Managers from Nursing Services tested positive for COVID-19, Philadelphia Hospital with 15 nurses , Northam Clinic with 6 nurses and Probeering Clinic in Sekhukhune District with 9 nurses. All these cases were reported within a short period.
This situation has triggered panic amongst nurses and causes serious threat to the healthcare system in the province, which is already on its knees amid a shortage of healthcare workers especially nurses.
At least 60 healthcare workers have tested positive for Covid-19 in the province, in both public and private health facilities.
This includes doctors, nurses, allied healthcare workers and support staff.
DENOSA in Limpopo is calling on Department of Health to investigate the possible causes of these increasing infections amongst health workers and to manage them effectively. All nurses who were in close contact with any confirmed COVID-19 case must be tested and quaratined regardless of having
symptoms or not to curb spread of this virus to other health workers. We are also advising that each district should have a quarantine site.
The Department of Health must prioritize the safety of healthcare workers against the virus, especially nurses who are frontline soldiers of defense in a fight against this pandemic.
Healthcare workers pose a threat of spreading the virus to others and their families if they happen to contract the virus and therefore managers must act promptly in their intervention when health care workers test positive especially in the clinics where nurses are closely interacting with clients in limited spaces during consultation.
“There is also evidence on the behaviour of some managers who hide information regarding the positive incidences in the workplace and healthcare workers continue to provide their services in a contaminated area, risking their lives, that of patients and of their fellow colleagues.
DENOSA is calling on healthcare workers to prioritise their safety while treating patients.
DENOSA Limpopo encourages members not to be silent when confronted with challenges which threaten their health and safety in the workplaces.
DENOSA is calling upon the Department of Health to speed up the process of appointing more nurses to cover the increasing number of nurses who are in self-isolation and quarantine due to this pandemic.
The Department of Health should work closely with DENOSA and other unions to establish the root cause of these increasing infections before the situation gets out of hand. Managers should allow healthcare workers to share their views, opinions and experiences as they are the ones directly involved in the fight at the frontline.
Department of Health should also consider establishing isolation centres specifically for healthcare workers who couldn’t self-isolate in their respective homes due to social circumstances and fear of infecting family members. This situation also threatens the spread of virus to other residents.
Issued by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) in Limpopo
For more information, contact:
Jacob Molepo, DENOSA Limpopo Provincial Secretary
Cell: 072 576 4979
Lesiba Monyaki, Provincial Chairperson
Cell: 072 587 2753