Ramaphosa apologises for government 'failing' healthcare workers amid COVID-19
Ramaphosa called 2020 a year from hell and paid tribute to the armies healthcare professionals who've been working with little rest since COVID-19 first arrived.
CAPE TOWN - President Cyril Ramaphosa has acknowledged there were times in 2020 when government failed health care workers.
Ramaphosa was speaking at a new year's eve candle lighting ceremony in Khayelitsha on Thursday.
He called 2020 a year from hell and paid tribute to the armies healthcare professionals who've been working with little rest since COVID-19 first arrived.
"At times we failed you. We didn't give you the PPEs that you required on time. We didn't give you the protection that you required on time and we humbly apologise for that. We should have cared for you much more. We should've given you more recognition - and we will, Ramaphosa said.
"You've given us courage to go on. There were moments when my own hope was getting lost."
#COVID19 | President @CyrilRamaphosa at Khayelitsha Hospital in Cape Town, Western Cape, for a Candlelight Ceremony in honour of frontline workers helping to fight the #coronavirus pandemic. #StaySafe pic.twitter.com/Pum899GIdqPresidency | South Africa (@PresidencyZA) December 31, 2020
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize attended a similar even in KwaZulu-Natal, raising concerns about the high infection and death rates among health care workers.
He confirmed 436 health professionals have died as a result of the virus in 2020 and that every time a health care worker catches the virus, the system loses at least 10 days of labour.
28 469 South Africans are known to have succumbed to COVID-19 this year- amongst those were 436 public health care workers who paid the ultimate price in the frontline. #NYECandleLighting pic.twitter.com/MXj6LeNkQVDr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) December 31, 2020
The Basic Education Department is another key department worried about the fatality rate among staff, in particular teacher. COVID-19 has claimed the lives of more than 30 educators in just the last few days.
Five days ago I got information that 14 teachers had passed away within 24 hours, yesterday 18 teachers reported to have died also from COVID-19, 32 teachers in less than a week all gone, from a single province thats reporting. The grieving over these holidays is too much.Elijah Mhlanga (@ElijahMhlanga) December 28, 2020
Updated COVID-19 infection numbers reveal 18,000 new confirmed cases in the past 24 hours and more than 430 deaths. The positivity rate is still at around 32,5%.
#COVID19 Statistics in SA as at 31 December.Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) December 31, 2020
Use the COVID Alert SA app to protect yourself, your loved ones and your community. Start using this privacy preserving app today. Add your phone to the fight! Download the Covid Alert SA app now! https://t.co/8YKEqaiiRF pic.twitter.com/JdkTzcrq1l