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2020/04/292020/05/04 04:38 PM
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The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) has called on its members to not treat any Covid-19 patient if they are not provided with personal protective equipment (PPE).

This follows an incident at an Eastern Cape hospital where nurses refused to treat 19 Coronavirus patients because they were not supplied with appropriate personal protective equipment.

This is despite the call made by health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize that no health worker be forced to work without any PPE.

Speaking on POWER Drive, Denosa president Simon Hlugwani says nurses should not risk their lives by treating patients without protection.

“Our own minister of health said there should be no expectation for any health worker to work without the PPE. It is our position as Denosa that if there’s no PPE don’t touch any patient because the government has said and issued instructions that they will provide the PPE.

“We are saying those nurses were correct because immediately after they refuse, the PPE was delivered in that institution,” says Hlugwani.

Hlungwani has also welcomed the arrival of 200 Cuban medical doctors to help spread of the virus.

“We do welcome the doctors that have come. You can imagine that the Cuban doctors are also not immune to the disease itself, therefore it means they are coming to risk their lives here in South Africa just for the benefits of us.

“Mind you they are not coming at no cost. They will be costs to the government. Most of them will be receiving a salary and so on.”

However, Hlungwani has raised concerns on the unfilled vacancies advertised by the government to get more health workers to combat the virus.

“They have advertised posts I think it is more than three weeks back and the regulations say they were going to employ people within a week.

“We know that there are more than 100 thousand applications made by South African doctors and health professionals including nurses. To date, we haven’t received a report on how many have been employed.”
2020/04/292020/05/04 04:39 PM

South Africa has received a significant order of personal protective equipment (PPE), which includes 2 million surgical masks and 216 000 KN95 respirators. This critical stock is intended for the sole use of frontline doctors, nurses and community health care workers, to protect them in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

This order, which arrived on Thursday night, will be bolstered by a further 784 000 KN95 respirators and 550 000 surgical masks which will arrive in the country on Sunday night.
2020/04/292020/05/04 04:54 PM

Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel on Wednesday said government was concerned about a possible resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the country because of the easing of nationwide lockdown restrictions.

However, government said it needed to balance the reopening of the economy with stopping the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
2020/04/292020/05/04 04:56 PM

South Africa has been ready to start with Covid-19 clinical trials for nearly two weeks now and Professor Helen Rees from WITS University, who is coordinating the international study trials in South Africa, says they are making good progress with getting the necessary approvals to get the project started.

The World Health Organization (WHO) launched the international clinical trial named, Solidarity, to speed up the testing of different drugs to find evidence-based treatments for Covid-19. South Africa is part of nine other countries Argentina, Bahrain, Canada, France, Iran, Norway, Spain, Switzerland and Thailand that have confirmed to be part of this clinical trial with 5 counties having already started Professor Rees tells DRUM. Forty-five other countries are also contributing to the trial to generate evidence faster on drugs which do work.
2020/04/292020/05/04 04:59 PM

The Cuban embassy in South Africa says its doctors are in the country to save lives, not for their personal enrichment.

"Cuban internationalist doctors are not looking for luxuries or big payments as is usually the case with highly qualified specialists around the world. They are prepared to work even in the most difficult situations, including very complex rural areas, because their only priority is to save every life that can be saved," the embassy said in a statement on Wednesday.
2020/04/282020/05/04 04:53 PM

Staff at Johannesburg's Charlotte Maxeke hospital were swamped last month when hundreds of panicked locals rushed in for testing after South Africa reported its first coronavirus case.

A handful of infections had snowballed to dozens in three days, catching hospitals off guard and exposing a glaring lack of preparedness.
2020/04/282020/05/04 04:58 PM

More than 1 000 health volunteers have come forward to help stop the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in the Western Cape.

This comes as the Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA (Denosa) welcomed the arrival of 217 Cuban health experts to the country
2020/04/262020/05/04 05:01 PM

After 28 years spent welcoming patients to her rooms, psychologist Janet Bytheway was sceptical about video consultations - but the lockdown has changed her mind.

"The younger therapists were quite flexible and keen to consult virtually, and so far it's been a great experience for everyone, including our clients," said Bytheway, who works in Table View in Cape Town.
2020/04/252020/05/04 04:41 PM

The protection of SA’s front-line doctors, nurses and community healthcare workers has received a boost with the arrival of a major order of medical protective gear.

Being in close contact with Covid-19 patients, the protection of these workers who are the country’s first line of defence in the fight against the virus, is critical. Cases have already been reported of some of these front-line workers testing positive for the disease.
2020/04/252020/05/04 04:51 PM
Daily Maverick

The first bulk order of personal protective equipment ordered was via a new centralised partnership procuring on behalf of all hospitals in the country.

This includes 2 million surgical masks and 216,000 KN95 respirators.
2020/04/232020/04/29 11:34 AM

While the province has recorded 1,010 cases since early March, but it warned on Tuesday that community transmission had “taken off” and the number of cases would rise rapidly when the national lockdown was eased.

Its modelling projected 80,000 people would be infected when the epidemic peaked in early August.

“It is going to be tough,” said Western Cape head of health Keith Cloete. “I have teams working round the clock to prepare,” he said.

At least 80% of Covid-19 patients were expected to be able to recover safely at home, but the province’s public hospitals still faced a projected shortfall of 1,000 acute-care hospital beds and 750 intensive-care unit (ICU) beds, said Cloete.

The provincial health department was building field hospitals with capacity for 1,300 beds to accommodate patients who were not critically ill. But it faced a far bigger challenge in stepping up its ICU bed capacity as it was hamstrung by a shortage of critical-care nurses, said Cloete.

The department considered its shortage of critical-care nurses a more pressing problem than ventilator capacity, which Cloete conceded was also limited. About 1,000 people had responded to the province’s call for volunteers, but few of them were critical-care nurses, he said.

The health department had limited scope to draw on ventilators in the private sector, as they were largely located in the Cape Town metropolitan area yet the need would be all over the province, said Cloete.  Public health facilities in the Western Cape had 432 ventilators and 100 were on order, he said.
Covid-19 is a potentially fatal respiratory disease, which in severe cases attacks the lungs. There is no cure. The main treatment for patients struggling to breathe is supplementary oxygen. Patients in severe respiratory distress are sedated and put on ventilators, which push oxygen into their lungs.

The national health department’s acting director-general, Anban Pillay, told MPs in April that SA had half the ventilators needed for the expected Covid-19 surge.
The Western Cape has the second-largest number of confirmed cases; Gauteng has the highest with more than 1,199 cases.

Cloete said the Western Cape employed 14,000 health-care workers, of whom 47 had so far tested positive for Covid-19.

2020/04/232020/04/29 11:48 AM

Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) has criticised government’s economic stimulus plan, saying it disregards health professionals.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday night announced relief packages that will see social grant recipients and the unemployed receive monthly stipends for the next six months.
2020/04/222020/04/29 11:39 AM

Western Cape residents got a more detailed view of what to expect in the coming months as the Western Cape Premier and his head of Health briefed on plans to deal with the peak of the pandemic.

They've been planning various scenarios based on the results of data modeling.
2020/04/29 11:41 AM

The Western Cape is expecting 80,000 people to be infected by Covid-19 at its peak, with a shortfall of 750 beds in critical care facilities, Premier Alan Winde said on Tuesday.

However, the good news is that at least 90% of those who contract the coronavirus will be able to recover at home.
2020/04/222020/04/29 11:47 AM

Nursing union Denosa says President Cyril Ramaphosa is ignoring the plight of healthcare workers.

It welcomed the announcement of the relief package, but says those on the frontlines are being left out.
2020/04/202020/04/29 11:42 AM

SA’s largest public service union, Nehawu, has called on public and private healthcare sector workers to not perform their duties if employers do not provide protective equipment to shield them against Covid-19.

Nehawu represents nurses, doctors, pharmacists, cleaners, dispensary and reception clerks; community health workers, ambulance and morgue workers; community care workers and laboratory technicians, among others.
2020/04/29 11:43 AM

The Department of Health has announced that it will rely on community healthcare workers (CHWs) to assist with tracking and tracing potential COVID-19 cases but has not provided assurances about how it will protect these workers during the process and beyond.

On Monday 13 April, Professor Salim Abdool Karim, the chair of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19 outlined the government’s plans to increase tracing and testing.
2020/04/202020/04/29 11:44 AM

Even though the number of Covid-19 coronavirus deaths in Gauteng is relatively low, this could change in the next few weeks.

Bandile Masuku, Gauteng health MEC, said the province had been fortunate because most of the patients had the resources to help themselves recover from the virus with little help from the state.
2020/04/202020/04/29 11:45 AM

The ANC in the Eastern Cape has come under fire from the South African Communists Party (SACP) for using the bed and breakfast of a politically connected person to quarantine 16 people who tested positive for Covid-19.

Premier Oscar Mabuyane confirmed on Friday that the B&B belongs to Kwakhanya Tikana, the daughter of the MEC for transport, Weziwe Tikana-Gxothiwe.
2020/04/182020/04/29 11:43 AM

Cassim Lekhoathi has clear advice for South Africa’s nurses working on the front lines of the Covid-19 pandemic without adequate personal protective equipment (PPE): no-one must be sacrificial lambs.

“We can’t afford to have any nurse or doctor perish as a result of the lack of PPE,” said Lekhoathi, the general secretary of the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa).
2020/04/032020/04/06 03:09 PM

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) is reviewing its stance on discouraging members of the public from using masks to reduce the spread of Covid-19, it emerged on Thursday.

The World Health Organisation and the NICD, a government body that provides research and advice on infectious diseases, have until now consistently said that ordinary people do not need to wear masks unless they are sick or caring for someone who is.
2020/04/032020/04/06 03:10 PM

There is something very peculiar about SA’s Covid-19 numbers.

From March 21 to March 24, there were 352 new cases, an average daily increase of 27.9 %. In the four days after that, the number of new cases increased on average by 21%. But in the four days ending on Wednesday April 1 there were 193 new cases, a daily average increase of 3.84%.
2020/04/032020/04/06 03:11 PM

Parliament’s health committee on Thursday called on Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize to investigate the lack of protective gear for health workers amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Committee chairperson Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo expressed concern over the reported shortage and called on government to do something urgently.
2020/04/032020/04/06 03:13 PM

Nurses say they are afraid of contacting the virus because they don’t have Personal Protective Equipment.

With South Africa under lockdown aiming at slowing down the transmission of COVID-19, thousands of health workers are in the frontline. Nurses from various hospitals and clinics anonymously share their experiences with SABC News.
2020/04/032020/04/06 03:14 PM

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said it was taking stock of how many intensive care unit (ICU) facilities and ventilators each African country had to respond to the coronavirus, as many already had weak health systems.

More than 4,000 cases have been reported in sub-Saharan Africa and 125 people have died.
2020/04/022020/04/06 02:57 PM

Health minister Zweli Mkhize on Tuesday gave an update on the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic in SA during a press briefing in KwaZulu-Natal.

He discussed the use of masks as protective gear and said the implementation of the lockdown was showing signs of improvement in flattening the curve.
2020/04/022020/04/06 03:04 PM

Despite a slowing down in the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in SA, health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has warned that the current lull could be the “calm before a heavy and devastating storm”.

On Wednesday evening Mkhize announced an increase of just 27 confirmed cases of Covid-19 since Tuesday afternoon — bringing the total figure to 1,380 cases.
2020/04/06 03:05 PM

South African health-care workers at the forefront of the Covid-19 pandemic in public hospitals are concerned about their health and safety, as they are expected to work without masks and protective gear.

The already emotionally and physically drained workers said they were dealt another blow this week, when they received correspondence from their respective managers, threatening them with disciplinary action if they refused to work without masks or protective gear.
2020/04/022020/04/06 03:07 PM

Government has published updated regulations for South Africa’s 21-day coronavirus lockdown – including amendments around a new national coronavirus database.

In a gazette published on Thursday (2 April), the regulations state that the Department of Health shall ‘develop and maintain a national database to enable the tracing of persons who are known or reasonably suspected to have come into contact with any person known or reasonably suspected to have contracted Covid-19’.
2020/04/012020/04/06 02:54 PM

The number of people who have succumbed to COVID-19 in the country has continued to increase but not at the rate that was expected.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said that five people had now died after being infected with the virus, with the latest person being a 46-year-old woman from Umlazi.
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