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Mkhize pays tribute to health workers for COVID-19 battle

The Health Minister said health workers had often had to sacrifice their own concerns for the well-being of those who looked to them for care.

FILE: Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said almost 450 health workers in the country had now succumbed to the coronavirus.

Mkhize was speaking during an address at the KwaZulu-Natal Doctors Healthcare Coalition which is holding its 24th annual conference virtually on Saturday.

He used his speech to honour the work done by frontline workers to bring the pandemic under control.

According to the latest update from the Health Department, South Africa has now logged more than 781,000 cases of COVID-19 - with fears this may grow exponentially in the coming weeks due to a resurgence of the virus.

With several countries in the northern hemisphere now battling an intense second wave of infections, Mkhize said the world was yet to quantify the full impact of the pandemic on health systems.

“We will therefore require a combined partnership of all nations as well as the solidarity of all the people across the globe to rebuild our economies, our lives, our livelihoods and our health systems.”

He said health workers had often had to sacrifice their own concerns for the well-being of those who looked to them for care.

“The worst of the challenges that they had to overcome is their own personal sense of insecurity where the risk to them would have been higher that they would either get themselves infected or infect their loved ones.

“But they have battled through all and in the process they have been able to stand up and save our nation.”

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