Author(s): Tlotleng, N., Cohen, C., Made, F., Kootbodien T., Masha, M., et al.

Source: IJID Regions (2022), doi:


Objectives: This study describes characteristics of admitted HCWs reported to the DATCOV surveillance system and factors associated with in-hospital mortality in South African HCW.

Methods: Data from 5 March 2020 to 30 April 2021 were obtained from DATCOV, a national hospital surveillance monitoring COVID-19 admissions in South Africa. Characteristics of HCWs were compared to non-HCWs. Furthermore, a logistic regression model was used to assess factors associated with in-hospital mortality among HCWs.

Results: There were a total of 169,678 confirmed COVID-19 admissions, of which 6,364 (3.8%) were HCWs. HCW admissions were high in wave 1 (48.6%; n=3,095) than in wave 2 (32.0%; n=2,036). Admitted HCWs were less likely to be male (28.2%; n=1,791) [(aOR 0.3; 95% CI (0.3-0.4)], in the age group 50-59 (33.1%; n=2,103) [(aOR 1.4; 95%CI (1.1-1.8)], accessing private health sectors (63.3%; n=4,030) [(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 show a decline in HCW admissions in wave 2 compared to wave 1. Acquired SARS-COV-2 immunity from prior infection may be a reason for reduced admissions and mortality of HCWs despite the more transmissible and more severe Beta variant in wave 2.

Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; hospital surveillance; healthcare workers; hospital admissions; in-hospital mortality