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27,000 S. African health workers infected with COVID-19

Published : 13 Aug 2020, 22:15

  DF News Desk

South African Health Minister Zweli Mkhize (C) speaks at a press conference on COVID-19 in Proteria, South Africa, March 9, 2020. File Photo Xinhua.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on the South African health sector, having infected 27,360 health workers since its outbreak in early March, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Thursday, reported Xinhua.

Of those infected, 6,027, or 22 percent, were from the private sector and 21,333, or 78 percent, were from the public sector, the minister said in a statement.

The infected health workers included 1,644 doctors and 14,143 nurses. The others are from other categories of the health sector.

The overall infection rate among health workers, as compared to the total number of cases identified nationally, is five percent which is well below the global average of 10 percent, according to Mkhize.

"Sadly, 240 of our healthcare workers have succumbed to COVID-19, 37 from the private sector and 203 from the public sector," Mkhize said.

The mortality rate among health workers is 0.9 percent, he said.

The number of health workers reported to have recovered as of August 4 stood at 16,005, a 58-percent recovery rate among health workers, said Mkhize.

"We salute these fallen soldiers and pay tribute to them for their commitment to serving the people of South Africa right until the very end," the minister said. "We extend our condolences to all the family, friends and colleagues of these valuable members of society."

South Africa recorded a cumulative number of 568,919 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 11,010 related deaths as of Wednesday, according to the latest official figures.

The country remains the COVID-19 epicenter in Africa, with more than half of the total cases in the continent. Worldwide, South Africa ranks the fifth in terms of confirmed cases, after the United States, Brazil, India and Russia.