COVID-19 claims 68 healthcare workers in KZN

A total of 7 360 healthcare workers have contracted COVID-19 since the outbreak in KwaZulu-Natal.

While over 70% of health professionals have recovered, 68 have succumbed to the respiratory disease.

“May their souls rest in peace and their families be comforted,” KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala said on Sunday.

According to Zikalala, the number of cases reported in the province has declined drastically.

“We must emphasize that we are still vigilant and on full alert. While regulations are being relaxed, we are fully cognisant that the virus has not relaxed. It is still deadly and vicious.”

The province has 117 743 cases (7 034 of which are still active) and 2 531 deaths.

“It is, however, encouraging that 108 004 or 92% have recovered,” Zikalala said.

According to the Premier, over the past two weeks, the province has registered 3 209 new infections and 268 deaths.

“At some point, we were registering between 3 500 and 3 900 new infections in one day.”

The median age for deaths is 51 years, while over half of the deceased were females.

As of 19 September, the province had 640 patients admitted in both private and public hospitals.

“Of those admitted, 115 patients (18%) required intensive care services,” he said, adding that private hospitals had more patients in ICU.

Among those who required intensive care, 23 were on ventilators, while 68 were admitted in high care units in both private and public facilities.

“We wish to remind our fellow compatriots that alert level 1 is still part of the lockdown,” said Zikalala.

The province will continue to enforce regulations and the new curfew, which is between midnight and 4 am

“Those selling alcohol must do so in line with the regulations. We are noting the new tricks that some are using to sell during prohibited hours and days on Saturdays and Sundays.

“Law enforcement agencies are watching you,” Zikalala warned.

He called on citizens not to be complacent but continue to observe preventative measures such as wearing masks, social distancing, washing and sanitizing hands.

“The possible second wave of COVID-19 is not just empty talk, but constitutes a real threat,” he said.

Zikalala cited countries like India, the US, Spain, Vietnam, New Zealand, Brazil, and South Korea where they are experiencing a new wave of infections.

“Some of those countries have been forced to reintroduce hard lockdowns, which caused even more devastation to their economies that they were trying very hard to rebuild.

“We can ill-afford for something like that to happen here in our country. Therefore, when we say stopping COVID-19 is in our hands, we really need to internalize and normalize that.” – SAnews.gov.za

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