Home South Africa News More than 330 SA cops and 1 600 educators died after contracting...

More than 330 SA cops and 1 600 educators died after contracting COVID-19

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South Africa has lost more than 330 cops, more than 430 healthcare workers, and a staggering 1,600 educators to COVID-19 in the past year – raising concerns about the resulting vacant posts in the public service.

As the second wave of COVID infections intensifies, the president and the health minister attended New Year’s Eve candle lighting ceremonies to remember the thousands of South Africans who’ve lost their lives as a result of the virus and to honour healthcare workers in particular.

President Cyril Ramaphosa declared 2020 the year of the healthcare workers and thanked those who showed up and cared for the sick, putting themselves in danger.

“2020 has been a year from hell,” he said.

And it seems Cyril Ramaphosa was also close to despair at times throughout 2020: “There were moment where my own hope was getting lost.”

What got him through those moments was watching the incredible dedication of so many doctors, nurses and other healthcare staff.

The president acknowledged that the government didn’t always come to the party as efficiently as it should have.

“At times we failed, and we humbly apologize for that.”

Citing delays in the delivery of personal protective equipment and a failure to give adequate recognition to those on the frontlines, Ramaphosa promised to do better for the small army of staff saving lives across South Africa.

The nation marked New Year under level three lockdown restrictions with a 9 pm to 6 am curfew and a ban on alcohol sales.

It was hoped the alcohol ban would ease the trauma load on the nation’s hospitals, allowing workers to focus on managing the pandemic.

And it seems to have worked.

Africa’s biggest hospital, Chris Hani Baragwanath, posted a picture on its Facebook page on Friday morning of a deserted trauma unit.

This is the first time in the hospital’s history that it hasn’t had a single trauma case on New Year’s Eve.

-EWN

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Stoko girls

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