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Nehawu to hold prayer service for health workers who died of COVID-19

The Health of Department said that since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, 240 healthcare workers had died due to the virus.

Emergency paramedics wearing a full COVID-19 coronavirus personal protective equipment (PPE) transfer an empty gurney to an ambulance at the Greenacres Hospital in Port Elizabeth, on 10 July 2020. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG – The National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) is expected to hold prayers on Tuesday in remembrance of the front line workers who died after contracting the coronavirus.

The union is also preparing for a national day of action on Thursday when it will hand over a memorandum to the office of the president demanding that workers at the Department of Health be screened daily.

It also wants government to set up a COVID-19 risk fund for health workers.

The Health of Department said that since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, 240 healthcare workers had died due to the virus.

Nehawu’s general secretary Zola Saphetha blamed the deaths on the negligence of employers.

“These workers have paid the ultimate price with their lives as a result of the sheer negligent and failures on the part of the employers, both the government and private institutions,” Saphetha said.

He said that their nine demands were to ensure the safety of healthcare and front line workers.

Saphetha said that the main prayer service would be held at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, but there would be other memorials held for front line workers at hospitals in all nine provinces.

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