COVID-19: Union urges govt to adequately train, equip healthcare professionals

The Young Nurses Indaba Trade Union on Tuesday said it was concerned that the measures announced by the president on Sunday didn’t go far enough to address issues faced by health workers.

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JOHANNESBURG - As government implemented measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), a nursing union called on government to adequately train and equip health professionals who were at the forefront of battling the virus.

The Young Nurses Indaba Trade Union (YNITU) on Tuesday said it was concerned that the measures announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday didn’t go far enough to address issues faced by health workers.

Ramaphosa announced travel bans from countries most affected by the virus, the shutdown of several ports of entry, and the closure of schools, amongst other measures.

WATCH: South Africa’s coronavirus interventions

The YNITU said its members dealt with suspected and infected cases of the coronavirus on a daily basis, but they were not prepared.

“Most of the healthcare workers are relying on the media for information but it’s important for the Department of Health and the heads of facilities to train and make sure that we are ready to deal with the current outbreak of coronavirus,” said YNITU president Lerato Madumo-Gova.

Madumo-Gova said there was still a shortage of equipment and protective gear.

The union said given these challenges, many workers considered their jobs as suicide missions.

To track the latest developments around the coronavirus both in South Africa and abroad, click on this live status report from Strategix.