Denosa: Some healthcare worker deaths can be attributed to subpar PPEs

The union was reacting to the Special Investigating Unit report into COVID-19 PPE procurement.

Healthcare workers removing their PPE at the Nasrec Field Hospital in Johannesburg. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) on Saturday said some deaths of its members can be squarely attributed to substandard personal protective equipment (PPEs).

The union was reacting to the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report into COVID-19 PPE procurement.

The SIU found processes were flouted in the awarding of tenders.

READ MORE: Denosa vows to lay criminal charges against tainted companies in SIU’s PPE probe

About R30.7 billion was spent on PPE and more than R13 billion of that is subject to investigations.

The SIU investigation focused on tenders awarded between April and November following numerous complaints.

The probe uncovered that while the national disaster was only declared in mid-March some service providers only registered in February making it impossible for them to have built a track record in such a short space of time.

Some delivered substandard PPE and Denosa’s Cassim Lekhoathi now said the deaths of more than 430 health workers could possibly be linked to the quality of the protective gear.

“We believe that these masks could have contributed to the exposure of our members, some resulting in losing their lives.”

At this stage, the SIU is investigating more than 1,500 contracts with an estimated value of nearly R7 billion with Gauteng having the most claims of corruption.

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