COVID-19: Gauteng health department pleads for protective gear donations

With more than 45% of the country's infections in Gauteng, the department said the fight against the pandemic will require a joint effort from all sectors of society.

Gauteng Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku and the provincial executive council on 31 March 2020 rolled out massive community screenings and testing programmes in Alexandra township to screen residents for coronavirus (COVID-19). Picture: Ahmed Kajee/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – The Gauteng health department is appealing for donations of personal protective equipment and ventilators to help fight the spread of COVID-19 in the province.

With more than 45% of the country's infections in Gauteng, the department said the fight against the pandemic will require a joint effort from all sectors of society.

The World Health Organisation has warned that a global shortage of essential protective equipment poses a serious threat to combatting the highly infectious disease.

In a statement, the department said additional masks and globes will play an important role in supplementing government's resources, especially in special sites that are being put in place to house COVID-19 patients.

At the same time, the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) on Friday said its decision to turn to the courts regarding protecting members on duty came after efforts to engage with the health ministry failed.

The country's largest public-sector union is taking legal action against the government to compel it to protect its members who are at risk of contracting COVID-19.

The union is unhappy with working conditions under the national lockdown after the government failed to provide protective equipment and sanitisers to frontline health workers.