west rand hotspot david makhura

Image via Twitter: Gauteng Government.

Gauteng Premier declares West Rand a COVID-19 hotspot [video]

The Gauteng Premier along with the Health MEC visited Sibanye-Stillwater on Wednesday, and announced that the West Rand has now been identified as a COVID-19 hotspot.

west rand hotspot david makhura

Image via Twitter: Gauteng Government.

West Rand in Gauteng has been declared a COVID-19 hotspot after 196 miners tested positive for the novel coronavirus at the AngloGold Ashanti Mponeng Mine.

The team also visited the AngloGold Ashanti Hospital which is being refurbished into a COVID-19 facility.

In addition, 11 confirmed cases of COVID-19 had been reported at Sibanye-Stillwater in the West Rand after Gauteng Premier David Makhura met with representatives from mining houses and mining unions.

Makhura said it’s a “great concern” that 196 were recorded in “just one week”, and added that the teams are working with local government to prevent the virus from spreading.

Increase in new COVID-19 cases on the West Rand

Sibanye-Stillwater spokesperson, James Welstead that the new cases were recorded “since operations resumed at 50% capacity when lockdown restrictions were lowered to level 4”.

Based on the number of new cases, Gauteng Premier David Makhura calls for increased measures to be taken to curb the spread of the virus, and said that additional screening and testing resources would be made available.

“We met with [representatives] together with the department of mineral resources and energy to assess what they put in place, including social distancing measures and sanitisation.”

Additional resources will be provided

He added that screening alone isn’t enough; mines should be able to test workers as well. He said both provincial and national support would be given to the West Rand mines.

“We want all those resources to be used as we plan ahead, hospitals and clinics owned by mining houses together with private and public sector clinics and hospitals on the West Rand. They are now being treated as one resource.”

He explained that it doesn’t matter at which mine positive cases are recorded, all cases will be dealt with centrally by pooling mining and government resources to “contain the pandemic in this area”.

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