Free State doctor dead from Covid-19, 135 health workers infected

There are 135 healthcare workers in SA who have contracted Covid-19, health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said on Tuesday.
Image: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
At least one doctor has died of Covid-19 in SA, but he did not contract the respiratory illness in the country.

This was revealed by health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize, who said the government was doing its best to ensure that personal protective equipment (PPE) was provided for all health care workers.

He said 135 front-line health workers in SA had so far contracted Covid-19.

Mkhize was giving a Covid-19 update on Tuesday night alongside provincial health MECs.

“There has been a large number of health workers who have been infected. The number of health workers who have been infected is 135. This covers the private and public sector,” he said.

“Among these there have been doctors, nurses, technicians and other members of staff, so we have gone to check what was the basis of their infection.

“Earlier, it was obviously people who have been travelling abroad, but of course of late we are dealing with internal transmission, which makes it difficult [to find] where the source of infection is.”

Mkhize said the doctor who died from the virus was from the Free State and had been retired. He was doing some work within the sector.

“He had travelled abroad, contracted Covid-19 and came back. Then he passed in the early days of the outbreak in the Free State,” said Mkhize.

The minister said it was sad to loose a health worker at a time when health skills were needed more than ever.

Details of where the other 134 health workers were from and what they did would be released at a later stage, said Mkhize.

BY ZINGISA MVUMVU

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