Health union urges members to down tools

Health union urges members to down tools

As the coronavirus death toll in South Africa rises to 18, a health workers union is urging its members to down tools. 

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The Health and Other Services Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (HOSPERSA) says employees should refuse to work until employers supply them with the proper equipment to protect themselves against the coronavirus. 

The union says without these PPEs, staff members - treating COVID-19 patients - are putting their lives at risk. 

READ: Preliminary COVID-19 probe shows St Augustine's possibly didn't follow protocol

Speaking at a press briefing in Mayville on Wednesday night, KZN Premier, Sihle Zikalala said there is a shortage of PPEs globally. 

"The Department is in touch with various suppliers to secure more on top of what is there. We are the first to acknowledge our responsibility to protect health care workers from getting infected with COVID-19, and in that regard, we will continue to do everything in our power to ensure that all those who require these masks get them," he said.  

KZN Health MEC, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu says hospitals have PPEs, but those are kept strictly for nurses caring for COVID-19 patients.

"A nurse that will take my blood pressure and my sugar levels - is not necessary for them to be geared up in all that attire. Nurses at different levels are also now starting to demand that they are given gear that will be worn by a nurse that is actually in an infectious area. It's not possible for government to provide all that PPE to everyone," she said. 

NOW READ: KZN records the most COVID-19 deaths in SA

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