Coronavirus: Gauteng health buoyed by huge protective gear donation from China

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The Chinese man with the blue mask is Tao Li, CEO of the Bank of China. The Chinese man with the white mask is Tang Zhongdong, Chinese Consul General. The woman is Meisie Lerutla, Chief Director District Health Services. MEC Bandile Masuku standing in the middle. (Azarrah Karrim/News24)
The Chinese man with the blue mask is Tao Li, CEO of the Bank of China. The Chinese man with the white mask is Tang Zhongdong, Chinese Consul General. The woman is Meisie Lerutla, Chief Director District Health Services. MEC Bandile Masuku standing in the middle. (Azarrah Karrim/News24)

The Gauteng health department is trying to build up much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE) stock for healthcare workers as it continues to fight the spread of Covid-19, according to Health MEC Bandile Masuku.

This as the Bank of China donated 30 000 PPE units to the department at a ceremony on Tuesday. 

Masuku said the department continues to carefully calculate its PPE needs as circumstances change daily.

"Last week we received some from the [Patrice] Motsepe Foundation and we are still going to announce more this week.

READ | The design of SA’s first ventilator for mass production is expected within days

"We have received stock on Saturday, we are receiving stock today, so we are trying to build up the stock… we are trying to get enough stock so that we have enough for all our workers."

Procurement 

Department spokesperson Kwara Kekana added that there was continuous PPE procurement to replenish stock.

Masuku highlighted that PPE was the most important aspect of the fight against Covid-19, adding that it helped healthcare workers to do their work without fear.

"Whatever we do as politicians, it won't make any sense or any difference if our health workers are not healthy."

He said a hotline was established to enable healthcare workers to report shortages and said troubleshooting teams were monitoring facilities for PPE deficiencies.

Masuku urged the public to donate vital PPE, such as surgical masks, to healthcare workers and use cloth masks to protect themselves instead.

"For the surgical masks, it won't make any sense if [there is] a situation where we run out of masks in facilities but the public have them. We need to also ask the public that when they see the mask they maybe drop it off at health facilities so that your health workers will be able to help you.""We are aware of what we need to be using daily in different aspects of our work," he said.

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