Contact the virus hotline number on - 08 000 29999

NEHAWU Statement On The Outbreak Of Corona Virus

Monday March 9, 2020

Is South Africa Ready For The Corona Virus

Corona Virus - All You Need To Know

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] as a union organising in both public and private health notes the three confirmed cases of the novel Corona virus.

We hope that the Health Department has strengthened its systems and improved its level of preparedness for this virus that is causing chaos all across the world. Frontline health workers at all levels should be adequately equipped to deal with this virus and should be given adequate knowledge and resources so that their lives are not endangered.

NEHAWU & COSATU Corona Virus As NEHAWU, we want to unequivocally declare that our members will partake in all the processes of testing, quarantining and treating those who have come in contact with the virus. Our members are more than ready to assist our government and the Department of Health in confronting the virus and ensuring that there is immediate help for those who require medical attention. The department in return would have to ensure that our members receive all the necessary protective clothing and training in dealing with both confirmed and suspected cases of the virus. In this regard, we demand that the department ensures that workers have all the protective clothing and equipment they need when assisting patients to protect themselves from contracting the virus.

Our members who are at the coalface of treating those who may exhibit symptoms associated with the virus must receive all the necessary support that they will need in dealing with the outbreak of the virus in the country and they must be remunerated for overtime if they have to put in extra hours considering that our healthcare system is understaffed.

Support must also be provided for our members who are based in all the ports of entries where detection must take place as and when people enter our boarders. We have noted that our members in these workplaces have not been trained or educated to deal with the outbreak of the virus. In this regard, the national union will visit workplaces at the point of entries where our members are most likely to encounter the virus including airports, harbours and border gates to ensure that they are protected from contracting the virus.

Moreover, the national union is fully committed in assisting with efforts to raise awareness. In this regard, we will be printing posters and producing bulletins that will be distributed to all our members and workers to create awareness about the dangers of the Corona virus. We will also work hand in hand with both government and the Department of Health to educate our people about best practices and ways to avoid getting infected. The outbreak of the virus requires a collective efforts from all stakeholders to fight the virus.

The issue of the Corona virus will require active citizenry that will be able to follow all the precautions in order to avoid contracting it or spreading it. In this regard, we reiterate the call by the Department of Health for our people to be cautious and not spread fake news or insensitive or prejudiced views about the Corona virus. The spread of the virus should not be taken lightly as it has claimed more than 3600 lives across the world.

The national union has asked for an urgent meeting with the Minister of Health, Honourable Zweli Mkhize, to discuss our state of readiness and protection that must be provided to our members. NEHAWU will also demand that government makes available to the population free of charge all appropriate protective materials including masks, soaps, and alcohol-based sanitizers. This is necessitated by the greed of the bourgeoisie who are looking to exploit the need to procure masks and other protective materials by our people. The evil system of capitalism is always looking to maximize profits even during times of adversity.

Lastly, we call on the Department of Health to act swiftly in putting measures in place to contain the spread of the virus and ensure that our members and workers are protected from contracting the virus.

Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat
Zola Saphetha (General Secretary) at 082 558 5968;
December Mavuso (Deputy General Secretary) at 082 558 5969;
Khaya Xaba (NEHAWU National Spokesperson) at 082 455 2500

More Headlines

  • 06 March 2020: Media COSATU Statement on The Corona Virus Read More
  • 06 March 2020: Media COSATU Statement on The Corona Virus Read More
  • 2020: National Health EnsuranceRead More