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Mkhize assures training of all health workers to deal with COVID-19

The minister was speaking on 702 after he announced the cases of the coronavirus in the country increased to at least 709.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has assured health professionals who haven’t been trained to deal with COVID-19 yet that training was on the way.

The minister was speaking on 702 on Wednesday after he announced the cases of the coronavirus in the country had increased to at least 709.

Last week, a nursing union threatened to withdraw its members from hospitals, claiming government is failing to train and equip them to deal with the virus.

WATCH: Health Minister unpacks the rules of Covid-19 lockdown

This week, the Health Professions Council said it was worried about the insufficient resources for health workers to fight the disease.

Mkhize said he heard them: “But we expect that over the period, everyone will be trained on how to deal with the issue of the COVID-19.”

With regards to the equipment and the protective gear health workers need to nurse COVID-19 patients, Mkhize said: “Equipment is available and we have actually dispersed it to those who need it immediately. And in time, we will see that the need might be increasing.”

Meanwhile, the minister has also confirmed that government has an agreement in principle with private hospitals to accommodate people who may need to be hospitalised to treat COVID-19 even when they can’t afford it.

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