Covid-19: Over 27 000 cases and 230 deaths among healthcare workers, but SA below global averages

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Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.
Brenton Geach, Gallo Images via Getty Images
  • As of 4 August, a total of 27 360 healthcare workers have tested positive for Covid-19.
  • 21 333 (78%) cases were reported in the public sector while 6 027 (22%) were from the private sector.
  • 230 Covid-19 related deaths had been reported in the health sector.

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, over 27 000 healthcare workers have tested positive for the virus with a death toll of 230 in the sector. 

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In a statement, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize revealed on Thursday that, as of 4 August, a total of 27 360 healthcare workers were reported as having contacted the virus. 

Of the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the healthcare sector, 21 333 (78%) cases were reported in the public sector, while 6 027 (22%) were from the private sector. 

"The overall infection rate amongst healthcare workers as compared to the total number of cases identified nationally is 5% which is well below the global average of 10%," Mkhize said.

A further breakdown revealed that more than half (52%) of the healthcare workers who tested positive were nurses, while 6% (1 644) were doctors.

Less than 1% were Port Health workers and 42% were from other categories of health workers, the minister said.

Mkhize added that, as of 4 August, 230 Covid-19 related deaths had been confirmed among healthcare workers.

He said 37 deaths were recorded in the private sector while 203 were from the public sector. 

This translated to a mortality rate of 0.9% among healthcare workers. 

"We salute these fallen soldiers and pay tribute to them for their commitment to serving the people of South Africa right until the very end. We extend our condolences to all the family, friends and colleagues of these valuable members of society."

Mkhize said a total of 16 005 healthcare workers had also recovered as of 4 August, which translated to a 58% recovery rate in the health sector. 

The provincial breakdown:

A table, compiled by the Department of Health, sho
A table, compiled by the Department of Health, showing the numbers of healthcare workers infected with Covid-19 as at 13 August, 2020.

Mkhize also had a snapshot of active cases in the healthcare sector on 7 August. 

"On this day we registered 7 500 active cases of which 751 (10%) were being hospitalised, 6 557 (87%) were in self isolation and 192 (3%) were being isolated in a facility," Mkhize said. 

"We wish all healthcare workers currently battling Covid-19 a speedy recovery and look forward to welcoming them back to the workforce when they are fully recovered."

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