Mkhize urges fight against COVID-19 stigma

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize says there are programmes in place to deal with the issue. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize says fight against the stigmatisation of those infected with COVID-19 is just as important as the fight against the virus.

Mkhize says this can lead to people not seeking help if they suspect they have contracted the virus.

He was speaking while on a visit to the Eastern Cape's Cecilia Makiwane Hospital, in Mdantsane.

READ: Western Cape factory closed after nine workers test positive for COVID-19

The minister says there are programmes in place to deal with the issue.

"The fight against COVID-19 is a community fight, it's about keeping the community safe and protecting all the members of the community from getting an infection," Mkhize said.

"It is also about fighting the stigma. Our people must not discriminate against anyone who is infected. It is important that people must not run away or hide the information when they are positive also that they can be assisted."

Meanwhile, the North West province reported its first COVID-19 death.

The number of fatalities in South Africa rose by 12 to reach 206.

A total of 10,652 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the country.

READ: Up to 190,000 could die in Africa if virus containment fails: WHO

Mkhize said about 8-million people have been screened countrywide.

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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.