Press Release 1/2020: Nurses are at the forefront of the Coronavirus
19 March 2020
SANC: Nurses are at the forefront of the Coronavirus
The coronavirus outbreak is escalating and the burden on the healthcare system is increasing daily. Nurses are at the forefront of the healthcare system and therefore also of this outbreak, and crucial in combating this virus. The South African Nursing Council (SANC) would like to commend all nurses responsible for caring for those infected and dealing with long queues to assist patients.
Generally, Nurses are educated and trained in principles, guidelines and protocols regarding infection prevention and control and these continue to apply, regardless of the type of infection. However, employers remain responsible for, and are urged, to keep supporting nurses and providing additional supplies for infection control.
The SANC also implores employers to ensure that nurses have personal protective equipment (PPE) and access to running water to assist them to safely execute their duties. As the backbone of healthcare it is imperative that we protect the nursing staff as this will assist in curbing the spread of the virus and sustaining a healthy workforce.
The SANC calls on the public to keep nurses in mind and in their prayers – they are at risk and exposed, work long hours, deal with long queues and work under difficult circumstances while their own families are at home coping with the outbreak by themselves.
The public is reminded to always adhere to the following outbreak prevention guidelines: Maintain your distance from other people, wash your hands as per the approved protocol, sanitize your hands, do not cough or sneeze into your hands and do not touch your face. If you do suspect that you are infected please remember to dial the hotline numbers first, as going to a hospital or clinic directly means you are placing others at risk of infection. These hotline numbers are operational 24-hours a day: 0800 029 999 and 0800 111 132.
We call for calm. If we all work together and follow the guidelines, we will assist in curbing the spread.