Military medics seeking volunteers for coronavirus response


The medical component of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) wants volunteers – urgently – to boost the number of healthcare operatives in the ongoing battle to flatten the coronavirus infection curve.

The SA Military Health Service (SAMHS) is looking for registered medical doctors; professional nurses, enrolled nurses and auxiliary nurses; clinical associates and operational emergency care practitioners (OECPs) to join the uniformed medical ranks on a part-time basis.

The call comes in the wake of the national state of disaster declared last month by President Cyril Ramaphosa and, according to a SANDF statement, SAMHS “is reinforcing, regrouping and strengthening its medical capacity”.

The statement has it that the call for volunteers is in line with the prescripts of the lockdown regulations as stipulated in the National Disaster Management Act, section 27, sub-section two.

Interested candidates should contact SAMHS Director Medicine at 012 367 9156; Director Nursing at 012 367 9168; Director Emergency Military Medical Care (EMMC) at 012 671 5005 (this number is for EMSes with previous military service); and Director Military Health Reserve at 012 671 5153. When making contact, respondents must have ID and registration numbers on hand.

Candidates who are accepted will have to report to their nearest SAMHS unit when informed by the Reserve Force office.

SAMHS personnel have been deployed as part of the China repatriation and have also found themselves at ports of entry such as OR Tambo International Airport. Here they are part of Department of Health teams testing people for signs of infection.

The SAMHS  is working in conjunction with the National Department of Health in support of the nationwide operation to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced that as of Sunday, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is 1 655 in South Africa with 11 confirmed deaths. This is an increase of 70 from the previous update issued on Saturday.

Gauteng remains the province with the highest number of cases with 704, followed by Western Cape with 454 cases and KwaZulu-Natal with 246 confirmed cases. Free State has 87, Eastern Cape 31, Limpopo 19, Mpumalanga 18, North West 11, Northern Cape eight and there are 77 unallocated cases.

The Minister said the total number of COVID-19 tests conducted to date is 56 873, an increase of 2 936 from Saturday.