PPE a 'dire necessity' - HPCSA's concern after 240 healthcare workers die of Covid-19

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Doctors making use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Doctors making use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
PHOTO: Getty Images
  • The HPCSA expressed concern after the Covid-19 deaths of 240 healthcare workers.
  • Nationally, 27 360 healthcare workers, in both the public and private sector, have been infected by the virus.
  • The council emphasised the importance of wearing masks.

The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) is concerned that 240 healthcare workers have died of Covid-19 since the beginning of the outbreak.

HPCSA spokesperson Priscilla Sekhonyana said healthcare workers selflessly put their lives at risk and, as a result, were vulnerable to the virus.

"Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a dire necessity that is required for healthcare workers, especially for those working [on] the front line," Sekhonyana said in a statement on Friday.

She said it was the duty of healthcare employers to ensure the appropriate PPEs were provided at the appropriate level of care. 

Nationally, 27 360 healthcare workers, from both the public and private sector, are reported to have been infected, according to the national health department.

"It is our obligation to ensure that we preserve our assets and work together to assist our healthcare workers by not overwhelming the healthcare system," the council said.

However, with the country now under lockdown Level 2, the council encouraged the public to continue to do their part and practise physical distancing, washing of hands with soap and water, or using an alcohol-based sanitiser.

Sekhonyana said it was also important to emphasise the proper wearing of masks in public.

The HPCSA advised that, by following these regulations, it will help flatten the curve and slow down the spread of the virus, especially as it is estimated the virus will be present for the next 18-24 months. 

"Council would like to take this opportunity to send condolences to the family members of all who have lost their loved ones to Covid-19," said Sekhonyana.

HPCSA president Kgosi Letlape thanked the healthcare practitioners for their hard work and dedication.

"We salute them on this mission of saving lives," he said.

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