Africa & World

Over 800 Botswana nurses test positive for COVID-19

Botswana Nurses Union (BONU) is concerned about the high number of COVID-19 positive cases among nurses and the death rate.

Briefing the media over the weekend, BONU national publicity secretary, Aobakwe Lesolame said over 800 nurses have tested positive, and 23 nurses have died due to COVID-19 related issues. Lesolame said they have not taken the statistics of nurses who are on quarantine due to contact tracing.

“Our lives are in danger because we are frontliners. Some of these cases were recorded during our normal testing routine. As nurses, we are fatigued because of failure to take leave days and workload is too much for us. The current situation is affecting service delivery because we are also working long hours,” Lesolame said.

He added that only of nurses are fully vaccinated while some have not been vaccinated at all and others are still waiting for their second doses.

In addition, the union spokesperson said the slow pace of vaccinating nurses is worrisome since they are the ones who are at the centre of things.

He continued: “The government should vaccinate nurses. There is a shortage of nurses in the country and the Ministry of Health and Wellness has not renewed the contracts of COVID-19 nurses, who were employed on a temporary basis. This is not a good sign when the number of COVID-19 cases is on the rise.”

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