KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu on Tuesday said efforts to fight COVID-19 in the province were boosted by an additional R1.5 billion in funding from national government.
Simelane-Zulu revealed the figure while launching a newly refurbished quarantine and isolation site at the Clairwood Hospital in Durban.
The MEC said the funds were being used to procure more hospital beds in the wake of COVID-19 as well as recruit thousands of healthcare workers.
She said they had substantially increased their isolation bed capacity from 230 eight weeks ago to 1,805 to date.
Simelane-Zulu said when adding the number of quarantine, ICU, and high care beds – the province’s capacity increased to about 7,000 beds.
She said they also hired 10,000 community caregivers to assist the department for the next six months and they were now recruiting 4,000 professional nurses.
“As of Thursday, we advertised the posts for professional nurses. And we hope and call on all the professional nurses that are sitting at home – and those in other provinces that want to come back home – to apply as we need their services,” Simelane-Zulu said.
Health workers’ unions, Nehawu, Denosa, and the PSA welcomed the increase in the bed capacity and recruitment of more health care workers.
The unions had, however, called for the newly recruited workers to be made permanent.
For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.