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Protesting healthcare workers at risk of contracting COVID-19 - KZN MEC

Last week, health workers at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital staged a picket demonstration and called for enhanced safety measures after 126 staff members tested positive for the virus.

KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu. Picture: Nkosikhona Duma/EWN.

DURBAN - KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu has slammed recent protests by healthcare workers in the province, saying that workers were placing themselves at risk of getting the coronavirus through congregating and demonstrating.

Last week, health workers at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital staged a picket demonstration and called for enhanced safety measures after 126 staff members tested positive for the virus.

Simelane-Zulu said that their concerns were being addressed.

MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said that they had appointed a health and safety officer to monitor adherence to safety measures at health facilities.

"Now this OHS officer will make sure that they walk around the facility and ensure that management is doing what they're supposed to be doing."

She said that while they were committed to ensuring the safety of healthcare workers, they could not accede to all the demands of staff members at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital.

"We received a specific request from Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital where they were insisting that they wanted a specific kind of PPE that is not in the NICD guidelines. Now that can't happen. All our health workers in the province should be treated equally."

She said that the COVID-19 outbreak at the facility would be investigated.

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