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EC lost 161 health workers to COVID-19 since March last year - Zungu

The health workers who have died in the Eastern Cape were among 9,249 medical personnel who were infected with COVID-19 in the province.

FILE: Acting Head of Health Department in the Eastern Cape Sibongile Zungu. Picture: South African Medical Journal.

JOHANNESBURG - One hundred and sixty one health care workers have died from COVID-19 complications in the Eastern Cape since the pandemic reached South African shores in March last year.

The province’s health department briefed Parliament’s health portfolio committee earlier on Wednesday on some of the grim realities facing citizens and the state of the province, which is among the top three most affected in the country.

The health workers who have died in the Eastern Cape were among 9,249 medical personnel who were infected with COVID-19 in the province.

The acting head of department in the province Sibongile Zungu said: “We do have challenges in the whole province, we have lost staff members and we have a psychosocial support stream.”

Although the pace of infections has eased somewhat in the province since mid-December, Zungu said they were picking up other worrying trends.

She explained that while cases were subsiding in Nelson Mandela Bay and Sarah Baartman districts which accounted for close to 80% of all transmissions in the province, Joe Gqabi District was seeing a rise in cases.

Zungu said comparatively, when considering the population group in the district, the cases were much higher than elsewhere in the province.

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