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South African nurses have called on the government to ensure rural healthcare workers are able to access Covid-19 vaccines as the hard-hit country received its first batch of doses.
Nurses in remote areas have reported shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the pandemic and there are fears that rural areas will be left behind in the country’s vaccine rollout, the Thomson Reuters Foundation reported.
“Healthcare workers’ hands are full as we speak, we are very concerned about overstretching them to breaking point,” said Sibongiseni Delihlazo, spokesman for the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA), a union.
“It is important to not forget them,” Delihlazo told the Thomson Reuters Foundation over the phone.
“Ordinarily those clinics don’t have resources or even water, ablutions are not in good conditions,” said Kedibone Mdolo, the north west acting provincial secretary of DENOSA.
“Those nurses out there are forgotten so it will be a test for the (health) department to see how best they will reach them,” she said, adding that officials had given only “general answers” on rural roll-out plans.
Denmark, which has been under a tough lockdown since December, will reopen schools for the youngest children from next week.
According to the broadcaster TV2, grades 1 to 4 will be allowed back on 8 February. More details are expected to be given by health and education ministers in a press conference this evening.