President Cyril Ramaphosa has paid tribute to South African nurses for their services in the fight against the novel coronavirus disease in a message marking International Nurses Day.
A total of 511 health workers have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in South Africa while 26 doctors have been hospitalized and two health workers, a doctor and a nurse, have died.
“Currently, nurses are
placing themselves between our communities and the unseen enemy we face in
COVID-19. We are humbled by their bravery, their hard work and their commitment
to putting the interests of all South Africans before their own and those of
their own families,” said Ramaphosa.
“Let us pause today to celebrate this invaluable and treasured cadre of our society and let us give them our full support and gratitude into the future.”
Other politicians paying tribute on International Nurses Day included the Deputy President David Mabuza.
In his capacity as Chairperson of the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC), Mabuza lauded the meaningful role played by nurses in the fight against COVID-19, HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis in the face of current unprecedented workload of tracing, testing and treating patients with COVID-19, while also keeping with other essential health services.
“We take this opportunity to convey our special and sincere gratitude to all our Nurses throughout the country, for their dedication in providing healthcare support to our people. Through their dedication and commitment, Nurses play an important role in saving lives of our citizens by providing quality treatment and care,” said Mabuza.
“Whilst our country and indeed the whole world is confronted by the COVID-19 virus, which affects all elements of the social and economic fabric, it is our nurses as frontline workers, who care and instil hope in the minds of the patients.”
Addressing health workers at Durban’s King Edward V Hospital on Tuesday, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said nurses are the face of healthcare in South Africa and played an important role in protecting and caring for communities.
“Let us remember those nurses who put their lives on the line every day to fight COVID-19 and the nurses who put our safety before their family’s. Happy International Nurses Day. We appreciate you,” said Mkhize
The International Nurses Day is observed each year around the world to mark and recognise the significant contribution that nurses make to society.
It is held on 12 May, Florence Nightingale’s birthday.
This year marks the bicentenary of the pioneering nurse’s birth.