EC premier in quarantine as health department reassures workers

It's alleged that some health workers are no longer reporting for duty and that some patients with chronic conditions are being turned away. Eastern Cape Head of Health Management Dr Thobile Mbengashe has more on this issue. Courtesy of #DStv403

PORT ELIZABETH - Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane is being quarantined at home after one of his staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

This as reports emerged of a stand-off between senior officials and unions at the Eastern Cape Health Department.

Some healthcare workers are allegedly no longer reporting for duty and there are reports that some patients with chronic conditions are being turned away.

READ: Cuban doctors ready to help in Eastern Cape

The Eastern Cape Health Department's Dr Thobile Mbengashe said what they're experiencing is severe community anxiety.

Mbengashe said health workers in the province are like all other South Africans who are experiencing anxiety around the COVID-19 virus, but said they may be frightened from seeing images of healthcare workers overseas in the midst of the battle with the virus.

"What has really happened is that people have seen images in Italy, people have seen images in the US and people are extremely afraid," he said.

READ: Eastern Cape clinic shut after nurse contracts COVID-19

Mbengashe said the numbers in the province are more reassuring, with less people dying and more people recovering.

He said healthcare workers should follow all the protocols put in place to safeguard them, including the use of PPE and adequate hygiene procedures.

Meanwhile, Mabuyane said he will continue working virtually during his self-isolation.

READ: PPE shortages put Eastern Cape health workers at risk: Denosa​​​​​​​

All the premier's public activities have been cancelled.

The Eastern Cape has over 3,000 positive cases.

- Coronavirus Hotline Number: 0800 029 999 from 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.

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The NICD has another Clinician Hotline to improve #COVID19 communication and support for healthcare providers. The Clinician Hotline is 0800 11 1131, operating 24 hrs. The Public Hotline is 0800 029 999 also operating 24hrs.


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