COVID-19 hospital admissions and mortality among healthcare workers in South Africa, 2020–2021

Nonhlanhla Tlotleng, Cheryl Cohen, Felix Made, Tahira Kootbodien, Maureen Masha, Nisha Naicker, Lucille Blumberg, Waasila Jassat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: This study describes the characteristics of admitted HCWs reported to the DATCOV surveillance system, and the factors associated with in-hospital mortality in South African HCWs. Methods: Data from March 5, 2020 to April 30, 2021 were obtained from DATCOV, a national hospital surveillance system monitoring COVID-19 admissions in South Africa. Characteristics of HCWs were compared with those of non-HCWs. Furthermore, a logistic regression model was used to assess factors associated with in-hospital mortality among HCWs. Results: In total, there were 169 678 confirmed COVID-19 admissions, of which 6364 (3.8%) were HCWs. More of these HCW admissions were accounted for in wave 1 (48.6%; n = 3095) than in wave 2 (32.0%; n = 2036). Admitted HCWs were less likely to be male (28.2%; n = 1791) (aOR 0.3; 95% CI 0.3–0.4), in the 50–59 age group (33.1%; n = 2103) (aOR 1.4; 95% CI 1.1–1.8), or accessing the private health sector (63.3%; n = 4030) (aOR 1.3; 95% CI 1.1–1.5). Age, comorbidities, race, wave, province, and sector were significant risk factors for COVID-19-related mortality. Conclusion: The trends in cases showed a decline in HCW admissions in wave 2 compared with wave 1. Acquired SARS-COV-2 immunity from prior infection may have been a reason for reduced admissions and mortality of HCWs despite the more transmissible and more severe beta variant in wave 2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-61
Number of pages8
JournalIJID Regions
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • SARS-CoV-2
  • healthcare workers
  • hospital admissions
  • hospital surveillance
  • in-hospital mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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