Durban – Touched by the sacrifices and dedication of the country’s health care workers who are involved in the Covid-19 battle, KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala has dedicated this year’s freedom day to them.
Speaking on Monday at Clairwood Hospital in the south of Durban where the province held a low-key provincial Freedom Day celebration, Zikalala said the current generation has never before seen a virus like Covid-19.
He added that long after it has been defeated, those left behind will still bear its scars and endure lasting trauma.
“This Freedom Day, we therefore wish to salute all our healthcare workers who are fighting Covid-19 at a huge risk to their own health and safety. We have learned of cases here at home and from the four corners of the globe of nurses and doctors who have been infected and of those who tragically lost their lives.
“Once more, we convey our condolences to families who have lost their loved ones because of Covid-19. Nurses, doctors, community health care workers and various professionals in the health sector are human beings with families and anxieties like all of us. They live in communities where they can be ostracised or face stigma,” he said.
Furthermore, he said like nurses, doctors, and general hospital workers, as government they too are concerned about their safety and health in the workplace and their safety will be prioritised.
“Please be assured that your health and safety is a priority to us. As part of demonstrating our care and solidarity with our healthcare workers, today we are providing more Personal Protective Equipment.
“We will continue to offer various support, including psychosocial support to all our healthcare workers. Please know that we value you and appreciate what you are doing for our province and country. As a listening government, we will continue to engage with your leaders and yourselves to see how we can lessen your challenges.”
Zikalala also used the gathering to welcome to South Africa the 217 Cuban doctors who landed on Sunday to help the country in its epic Covid-19 battle.
“We also join our government in welcoming the Cuban internationalists and doctors who are joining our country to defeat Covid-19 and reduce its impact,” he said.
KZN, which is home to the city of Durban, the provincial epicentre of the virus is expected to benefit from the Cuban doctors’ expertise.
By Sihle Mavuso