The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in Gauteng has learned with deep concern of the growing number of health workers infected with coronavirus in health facilities. We have observed that five nurses, eight pharmacists at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital, many others in various public health institutions, and more than 80 health workers at Morningside Mediclinic Hospital have been infected.
We understand the limitations that the government is dealing with on PPE’s, but this also talks to a lack of proper protocols to keep the workers safe. What is of concern is that Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital was declared ready to deal with the pandemic.
While the Gauteng province has performed admirably to deal with the virus, there is no room for complacency. What is happening at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital to spread to other health institutions.
The Federation is calling for an accelerated mass screening because some of these cases are internally transmitted. We also call for the MEC and HoD of the Department of Health to ensure that all public health facilities are properly cleaned, decontaminated, sanitised and all health professionals be provided with PPE’s. All public and private health facilities should devise means and ways to control traffic as well as interdepartmental movement inside the institutions.
We also, call for private hospitals to stop the use of labour brokers or nursing agencies to source staff but rather employ nurses permanently as a way of controlling inter-hospital movements. The Federation encourages health workers to protect themselves, their colleagues, and patients against the virus. This includes adopting a No PPE’s, No Work principle.
The Federation in the province welcomes the accelerated distribution of food parcels to the vulnerable but also reiterated its call that unscrupulous elements in government should face the full might of the law. We further call all who are taking from the poor to disengage themselves in this deplorable act and contribute positively to the fight against coronavirus.
We encourage those who can afford to continue to contribute in the solidarity fund and support the most vulnerable.
Issued by COSATU
Provincial Secretary: Louisa Modikwe – 0742266879
Deputy Provincial Chairperson: Thabang Sonyathi – 0716772769 / 0834993729