These past few weeks have been pretty much the same, that was until President Cyril Ramaphosa dropped his famous ‘fellow South Africans’ line and announced on Sunday evening that the lockdown would be moved to Level 3 from 1st June. The transition from Level 5 to Level 4 seemed a little underwhelming at the end of April, but there is joy ahead for the citizens in Level 3, more items return to the shelves and other commercial businesses are being given the go-ahead to open their doors again — but what does this mean for our medical professionals?
The number of confirmed cases are still on the rise and the amount of hard work and extra hours our doctors on the frontline have been putting in has not diminished. We understand that the lifting of the lockdown is allowing businesses to open their doors again. The economy must keep going and the only way for this to happen is for people to return to work — lockdown was never a long-term plan.
This is, however, a good thing. With an estimated number of 8 million citizens expecting to return to work on 1st June, our people will be earning their salaries again, businesses will be able to pick up pace and taxes will be paid, thus igniting the countries fire again. There seems to finally be a light at the end of a long tunnel post an 8-week lockdown with some minor changes along the way. However, heavy precautions still need to take place, especially when it comes to social distancing and wearing protective masks. The economy might be opening up again but precautions are still imperative in flattening the curve.
For those returning to work, it can be risky as the virus has not all of sudden disappeared. The rate of infections will inevitably rise and the risk of becoming sick is still very real for those who are exposed. Wearing protective masks over your nose and mouth along with the frequent washing of hands is still our best defence against the COVID-19 virus. “Companies will need to develop a workplace plan before they resume operations. They will need to screen workers on arrival each day and quarantine those who may be infected. They must assist with contact tracing if employees test positive. All staff older than 60 years and those who suffer underlying conditions are encouraged to stay home. Employees who are able to work from home should be allowed to do so,” stated Ramaphosa.
A word from Dr. Nicole Bell, a junior doctor serving as an essential worker during the nationwide lockdown stated, “I think that these unprecedented times call for unprecedented action. Every person needs to do their part for us to be effective. As junior doctors, we cannot be expected to hold down the Frontline whilst specialists and HODs aren't willing to stand there too. I truly believe that we have the ability to come through this stronger and more resilient, but our success depends on our ability to do what's best for the community, not what is easiest or most convenient for ourselves. Teamwork means more now than ever.”
Some Medical Practices will be opening their doors and we as LocumBase will be here to assist with vetted and verified Professional Locums ready to work.
The pandemic might just get worse before it gets better, but we can only make sure to keep ourselves safe, take precaution at all times and stay home as long as it is possible to do so.
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