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Head of department Dr. Keith Cloete says there are 1,029 active cases among healthcare workers in the province, as of 12 January 2021.

Dr. Cloete revealed this during the Western Cape government's weekly digital Covid-19 press briefing on Tuesday afternoon.

The department has recorded 8,088 cumulative healthcare worker infections in the Western Cape since the Covid-19 outbreak in March last year.

To date, at least 6,967 healthcare workers have recovered from the virus, while 92 staffers have died.

Of the 1,029 healthcare workers that are currently infected, approximately 442 are nurses, 98 are doctors, 23 are radiographers, and seven are pharmacists.

The other 459 active cases fall into other unidentified categories.

Dr. Cleote says the health, safety, and wellbeing of health workers is vital.

However, the department has been struggling with the availability of additional staff for contract work and a decrease in volunteers.

He says on-site support to frontline staff for mental health services is being scaled up and workers deal with the psychological trauma of the Covid-19 pandemic in their professional work and personal lives.

Our biggest challenge remains that our healthcare workers become infected.

Dr Keith Cloete, Head of Department - Western Cape Department of Health

Almost 7,000 staff members have recovered. Unfortunately, 92 cumulatively to this point have died - about 60 in the first wave, and up to now, about 30 people in this second wave.

Dr Keith Cloete, Head of Department - Western Cape Department of Health

We have this team of people that goes from facility to facility where staff can come out and share their traumatic experiences... In relation to personal family members passing away, [staff] themselves becoming ill, seeing fellow staff members becoming ill... and dealing with all that trauma... and on top of that seeing patients passing away.

Dr Keith Cloete, Head of Department - Western Cape Department of Health

A lot of trauma has been experienced and it's really on-site support [that's needed] to work through that trauma.

Dr Keith Cloete, Head of Department - Western Cape Department of Health

WATCH: Western Cape Government host weekly digital press conference

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Over 1,000 Western Cape healthcare workers currently infected with Covid-19

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