In a statement on Tuesday, the red berets in the province expressed their deep sadness at the “loss of eight dedicated doctors from Gauteng who succumbed to Covid-19”.
“Our heartfelt condolences are with their families and loved ones at this difficult time,” the statement reads.
The EFF called on acting Gauteng MEC for health Jacob Mamabolo and the department “to prioritise” the “safety of frontline workers and provide quality” PPE.
“As the province faces a surge in those infected with the Covid-19 virus, healthcare workers are increasingly at risk of contracting the virus. We caution the [Gauteng department of health] of the dire consequences of not supplying adequate quality PPE for all frontline workers working with patients who have Covid-19.
“The concern in infections due to low-quality PPE among nurses, paramedics, doctors and other healthcare staff is a serious concern that needs urgent intervention in order to avoid depleting the already exhausted workforce.
“Lack of proper quality masks, gowns and eye gear is imperilling the ability of frontline workers to fight Covid-19 and puts their lives at risk.
“Frontline workers must be protected from the risks that caring for patients with Covid-19 poses,” the statement reads.
The party said with the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic looming, the implications of staff being infected with the disease and a shortage of PPE will be devastating, “both to overworked personnel and to the patients for whom receiving medical attention could be a life or death matter”.
“This is a wartime situation that requires leadership with the political will to save lives. Premier [David] Makhura and [Mamabolo] must never send healthcare workers to war without proper ammunition.”
(Compiled by Makhosandile Zulu)