International Nurses Day 2020: Nurses who've died from COVID-19 remembered

International Nurses Day 2020: Nurses who've died from COVID-19 remembered

Health Minister, Zweli Mkhize has remembered the nurses who've died from COVID-19 and those continuing the fight.

Gaopalelwe Phalaetsile

"On behalf of my department, I would like to dedicate this day to all our nurses, especially those nurses who have lost their lives to the pandemic. 

"Their contribution to the fight against the pandemic is immeasurable. May their families and loved ones find strength in shared memories and may their souls rest in internal peace," he said. 

Mkhize joined the International Nurses Day commemoration at King Edward Hospital in Durban on Tuesday. 

He's thanked nurses for their efforts.

"For most of our communities, a nurse is the first to be seen at the time of birth. A heartbeat of the health system throughout the lifespan providing preventative, curative and rehabilitative care, and often the last to help close our eyes at the time of end of life."

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Mkhize spoke of the effects of the pandemic on healthcare workers.

"While nurses have always worked under intense psychological pressure, the current pandemic is making extraordinary demands on them both physically and mentally. While it is understood that over time, the threat of infection will reduce, we also know that the mental health impact of this crisis will remain."

Hospersa says these healthcare workers should be shown more appreciation as they are on the frontline in the battle against COVID-19.


It's calling on government to effect tax exemptions on the salaries of nurses and other healthcare workers who are risking their lives in this pandemic.

The union's Kevin Halama says they must also be given a special risk allowance considering the environment they're currently working in.


There's been growing concern at the rising number of healthcare workers in KZN and other parts of the country who're becoming infected.

Nationally over 500 have contracted the virus.

In KZN more than 100 healthcare workers at six private hospitals and three public hospitals have tested positive for COVID-19.

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