More than 35,000 health workers in South Africa infected with Covid-19

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DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - AUGUST 19: A general view of Clairwood Hospital which is one of the quarantine and isolation health facilities for Covid-19 patients on August 19, 2020 in Durban, South Africa. According to a media release, the Premier's visit comes after the release of Covid-19 related procurement in the province and the visit was to demonstrate how money has been spent on refurbishing the hospital. (Photo by Darren Stewart/Gallo Images via Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: A general view of Clairwood Hospital which is one of the quarantine and isolation health facilities for Covid-19 patients in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Darren Stewart/Gallo Images via Getty Images)

More than 35,000 health workers have tested positive for COVID-19 in South Africa since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the country’s Minister of Health.

Dr. Zweli Mkhize on Sunday said a total of 35,490 healthcare workers have been infected with Covid-19 while 338 of them had died.

In August, the Ministry of Health launched an investigation into reasons why the country’s healthcare workers were increasingly contracting the coronavirus while discharging their duties.

Surges in infections, shortages of staff, unsafe environments and a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) have been blamed for the increases in infections among health workers.

South Africa was previously listed by the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) as one of the African countries with the highest number of infections among health workers. Others were Algeria, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon and Kenya.

Healthcare workers have also previously protested against poor working conditions and urged the government to end corruption in the procurement of Covid-19 personal protective equipment.

As of November 15, South Africa has recorded 751,024 confirmed cases, 20,241 deaths and 693,497 recoveries.

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