News / Covid-19

Mungo Poore
1 minute read
7 Apr 2020
4:09 pm

SA hospitals have just enough protective gear to last ‘a few weeks’

Mungo Poore

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said staff would not be forced to work in an area where they do not feel adequately protected.

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize at a briefing on Tuesday.

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has said there is just enough protective gear for hospital staff to last a few weeks.

He’s promised with new stocks coming in, there will be enough for the next two months.

After that he said the country plans to make its own protective equipment.

This follows reports of medical staff being unable to protect themselves because of a shortage of masks and other equipment.

Unions have been threatening to take the government to court over a lack of equipment.

The minister says countries like China and India have been sending stocks of gear to this country to assist in clearing shortages.

Some health workers have claimed they have no masks or gloves to protect themselves. The minister says different areas are getting different types of supplies.

He said staff would not be forced to work in an area where they do not feel adequately protected.

“We need our staff to be protected and to be safe,” he said.

The minister also highlighted the situation at the St Augustine’s Hospital in Durban where 66 people, including 48 staff, have tested positive for Covid-19.

He said plans were afoot to close parts of the institution down.

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