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8 nurses died in succession at Edendale hospital; in Pietermaritzburg; Kwazulu Natal Midlands

Nurses of Edendale hospital in Pietermaritzburg; Kwazulu Natal Midlands; are working in fear for their lives; following the death of 10 workers; in a period of less than a week due to Covid19.

Many of those who died were 8 nurses; who died within two days.

Last Thursday the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu); went to this hospital to comfort the workers and also made a memorial wall for those who had passed; candles were lit and flowers were displayed in their memory.

Mazwi Ngubane; the secretary general of Nehawu; in the Mgungundlovu region said; the death of so many workers in such a short space of time; shocked the members of the union.

Those who passed on include; Busisiwe Dhlomo, Funani Chiya, Nokwanda Mdunge, Nonhlanhla Lushaba, Nombulelo Mbanjwa, Siphamandla Mhlongo, Bongiwe Ngema, O.L Phungula and H.L Madlala. 

"Other workers are scared to wake up to go to work in the morning; because they don't know if they will be next. The main problem with this hospital is that it is over crowded.

"We have neighbouring hospitals including Northdale; where people could be moved; but management is doing nothing to escalate the matter to higher authorities." Said Ngubane.

He said though they are aware that nurses are working for the public; they need to look after themselves because their lives are also important.

"If the employer fails to provide PPE; they should not put themselves in danger; just because they want to save people's lives." Said Ngubane.

One nurse who spoke on condition of anonymity said they are all sad and full of anxiety.

"What hurts most; is that after losing such a huge number of workers; we must work more shifts to cover the work of those who have passed." Said the nurse.

In a statement from the department of health sent to the media; the department said they are worried that there have been 12 569 workers who were infected with the Corona virus; since it started in March 2020.

"There are 112 workers who have died due to Covid-19; many of whom were nurses. The department salutes all the workers who are in the front lines in this war against Covid19." Said the statement.

"The department will continue to give support with other protection aids; psychological counseling and any other assistance." Said the statement.

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Health and Allied Workers Union Kwazulu Natal Midlands Mazwi Ngubane Nehawu Pietermaritzburg


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