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Hillbrow clinic employees back at work after strike

Employees refused to work saying they cannot put their lives at risk due to the coronavirus.

FILE: Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Health workers at the Hillbrow Community Health Centre said they had no choice but to return to work after they were threatened with losing a days’ wages.

Employees refused to work on Tuesday saying they didn’t feel safe.

They claimed many colleagues had tested positive for COVID-19 but they were refusing to isolate and were being forced to report for duty.

The Department of Health said that was not true.

The community health centre is open on Wednesday after Tuesday’s strike by workers.

They deserted their posts, claiming some staff members tested positive for COVID-19 but were still working.

They’ve accused management of refusing to close the centre to allow for disinfection.

Workers said they had no choice but to come to work on Wednesday and risk their lives because they have families to take care off.

The Gauteng health department has denied the workers claims.

The Gauteng department’s Kwara Kekana reacted to their concerns: “The Gauteng Department of Health can confirm that the Hillbrow clinic was closed as a result of one member testing positive for COVID-19. There was an interruption in services and the clinic was fogged and disinfected to ensure that there is a continuation of services.”

It said only one worker has been infected and it said the centre was disinfected on Tuesday.

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