The South African Emergency Personnel’s Union (SAEPU) is calling on Department of health to constantly screen and test all health workers for Covid-19. We are concerned by the increasing number of positive cases of EMS personnel while department is expecting them to perform their duties. Two personnel from Lady Brand EMS Base in Free State tested positive for Covid-19 and going through their reports on how they found out about their status one can blame department for risking with the lives of workers.
We have received reports that one personnel who got injured at home and went to a doctor for treatment was made aware of his status when they tested him and his results came back positive. Other personnel from the same base got tested by a company in Gauteng when he was going through the job interview and health screening processes. His results also came back positive.
This is enough evidence to know that most workers might be reporting on duty while infected but not aware because no one called them for job interviews which requires more tests or no need to visit a doctor because you did not suffer injuries while playing with kids at home.
We all know that EMS personnel as front line workers are at a risk of being infected by the virus and it is very disappointing to note that department is failing to arrange constant screening and testing processes at all EMS stations.
We want to remind all our members that they have the rights to refuse work if conditions are not safe. Managers must stop victimizing workers and make sure they work in safe environments.
We wish our colleagues a speedy recovery.
Issued by SAEPU
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