Gopolang Moloko
2 minute read
23 Jul 2020
2:56 pm

More than 10K health workers already infected with Covid-19 – WHO

Gopolang Moloko

Although none of the health workers succumbed to the virus there was an alarming but manageable number in cases, to date.

Lenasia South Hospital being renovated in Johannesburg during MEC Bandile Masuku and Minister Zweli Mkhize visited Nasrec as part of monitoring state of readiness as COVID-19 cases increase in Gauteng and to support staff working during pandemic, 20 July 2020. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

In a briefing to highlight the impact of the coronavirus on the health sector and its impact on health workers, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says it was a global imperative to protect health workers.

WHO’s Dr Matshidiso Moeti said more than 10 000 workers had been infected, and the organisation had identified the global shortage of protective equipment.  The organisation has launched an advisory committee to provide support to countries on research.

The use of masks needed to be enforced, including social distancing. Interactive communication such as by SMS and constant messaging to the public needed additional emphasis, to ensure the public is reminded to stay health-conscious.

Dr Leonie Claudine Louge says adequate training was imperative for healthcare workers as they were at the forefront of the pandemic. The workers played an essential role since the beginning of the pandemic.

Understanding the dynamics of the virus from the early stages was crucial as health workers needed to understand it in order to protect themselves. Screening remains important to identify affected areas, she maintained.

Although none of the health workers succumbed to the virus there was an alarming but manageable rise in cases, she says.

Dr Jemima A Dennis-Antwi says health workers needed to be individually educated. She noticed that infections were likely to come from outside sanitised places such as communities.

“We need to have regular good practices.”

“Every patient that comes in is a potential case, she says, and there needed to be a continuous collaboration between staff and governments to ensure the healthy well being of the much-needed workers.

Nutrition and supplementation were some of the proactive measures governments and health workers could discuss as a measure to stay abreast of challenges.

The lack of PPEs in most countries remains a concern, but Moeti maintains that adapting to new norms of staying healthy was the ideal goal. While new challenges were fast approaching constant reminders to citizens in countries was necessary, to enforce healthy habits.

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