During the last two weeks the COVID-19 positive cases have increased immensely. The virus has been well contained until this week when the Mpumalanga Provincial Command Centre closed down.
One of the staff members tested positive and the whole team was ordered into self-isolation.
Buks Viljoen, a News24 Correspondent wrote the following article:
The Mpumalanga provincial command centre closed as a matter of urgency on Tuesday after one of its staff members, who had attended a meeting, tested positive for the coronavirus.
The staffer went for Covid-19 screening and tested positive.
The entire command team, which attended the meeting in the Disaster Management Centre, was ordered to go into self-isolation and had to undergo Covid-19 testing, said Sibongile Mpolweni, the spokesperson for Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane.
The premier as well as Sindi Xulu, the province’s director-general, both tested negative for the virus.
“All other staff, including Lieutenant-General Mondli Zuma the provincial police commissioner of Mpumalanga, is currently in isolation,” said Mpolweni.
Mtshweni-Tsipane said all officials, who were in contact with the infected staff member, have been traced and tested, adding the results would be available on Friday.
“We are determined to make sure that all our officials are safe, hence the decision to temporarily close the command centre,” she added.
Teams from the Department of Health were brought in to deep-clean and fumigate the building, Mpolweni said.
Provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi confirmed they were still waiting on Zuma’s results, saying he himself was also currently self-isolating while waiting for his own test results.
The following press statement was also released:
The Provincial Command Centre has since been shut following one of the officials testing positive for COVID19.
All officials who attended the meetings at the Provincial Disaster Management Centre in Mbombela were tested immediately and have been ordered to self-isolate as from Tuesday (May 13th, 2020) as they await their results.
The Premier, Ms Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane and the Director General, Ms Sindi Xulu also undertook the tests and their results were negative.
“We are determined to make sure that all our officials are safe, hence the decision to close the command centre temporarily for an intensive fumigation,” said the Premier.
She added that tracing of all people that came into contact with the affected official has been done and testing is underway.
The Premier has encouraged members of the public not to resist undergoing the test as a crucial pillar to save their lives and their loved ones.
“When I took the test, I was nervous myself. It was short, convenient and less painful. The doctor made sure I was relaxed and took the samples, so people must not be scared to test when they present the symptoms or have been in contact with someone who is infected,” said the Premier.
The co-chairpersons of the Command Center, Mpumalanga SAPS Provincial Commissioner Lt-General Mondli Zuma commended the officials for setting a good example by participating in the testing process. “We have observed with concern the reluctance of some of our communities to be tested during our meetings, for fear of stigmatization. Some end up absconding quarantine procedures. To self-isolate or to be quarantined is not a punishment but to help those who tested positive and to curb the rising number of infections,” said Lt General Zuma.
Provincial Government will continue to educate the public about the benefits of screening and testing for coronavirus.