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"Concert of gratitude" salutes South African frontline healthcare workers

Xinhua English


CAPE TOWN, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- An outdoor concert was on Wednesday staged at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, the legislative capital of South Africa, to show recognition and appreciation for the work of frontline healthcare workers nationwide, who dedicated their lives to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The lunch-hour Concert of Gratitude was performed by Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and took place in front of a classical building at the foot of Table Mountain. It was live-streamed on the online platform to ensure all healthcare workers across the country can enjoy the music.

Healthcare workers from the hospital, where the world's first human heart transplant was performed, sat on chairs put on the lawn in front of musicians. Those who didn't have seats stood listening.

This came after South African government on Monday eased restrictions for COVID-19 from Adjusted Alert Level 3 to Adjusted Alert Level 2, which allows no more than 500 persons to gather at an outdoor venue, following the decline of infections. South Africa has reported a total of 2,864,534 cases, the highest national tally in Africa. At least 1,300 healthcare workers in the country were reportedly killed by the pandemic.

Groote Schuur currently has about 143 patients with COVID-19, less than half of what it was two weeks ago, the hospital's CEO Bhavna Patel said shortly before the music started.

The concert is not only in honor of healthcare workers at the hospital, but also for "all healthcare workers nationally and internationally who are offering and dedicating their lives to the services of others," said Patel.

"COVID has not been kind, and we have seen so much sadness, so much loss of life, but at the same time we have got so much to be grateful for," she said.

At the hospital, high flow oxygen units have been prepared for the potential fourth wave, but Nomafrench Mbombo, Provincial Minister of Health of Western Cape, called on the public to vaccinate to avoid the occurrence of the fourth wave.

"We don't want a fourth wave, because we as healthcare workers, we are tired. We have been working throughout, and that's why we keep on asking people nicely, 'Go and vaccinate,' in order to protect the health system," she said.

The official promised that the government will continue pushing for vaccination against COVID-19. Enditem