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Health workers need to always be protected in fight against COVID-19 - Mkhize

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said the country could not afford to have them contract the virus because they provided an essential service.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said workers and doctors on the frontlines of fighting COVID-19 needed to be protected at all times.

Mkhize said the country could not afford to have them contract the virus because they provided an essential service.

This comes as the country prepares to increase its testing capacity, with the level three lockdown expected to kick in next month.

Doctors, nurses and community health workers have been on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19.

But some have paid the price contracting the virus.

Mkhize said we could not afford this anymore.

“Those health workers need to always know that they are our heroes.

"They are the ones who stand between us and the real pandemic, but at this point going forward, it is going to be important that we use all these protective gear to protect all our staff.”

The minister said everyone needed to work together by wearing masks and staying home to reduce the number of transmissions.

BY THE NUMBERS

• 19,137 confirmed cases since the first reported case

• The Western Cape accounts for 63% of those cases

• 525,433 patients have been tested to date, with 18,572 tests in the last 24 hours. Interestingly, the majority of those tests were done in private labs (in recent weeks we’ve been seeing most of the new tests being done in the public sector)

• 369 people have now been confirmed dead in South Africa as a result of the virus, with 30 more deaths in the last 24 hours.

• Globally, the number of confirmed infections has passed 5 million, more than 328,000 people have died, and 1.9 million are listed as recovered.

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