Over 200 Western Cape supermarket employees test positive for coronavirus

Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo said food shops are proving to be the new breeding ground for COVID-19.

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Editor's Note: A previous version of this story had recorded the number of infected supermarket workers in the province as 400. The Western Cape MEC had erroneously stated this figure - which is in fact 200. The MEC has apologised for the error.

BLUE DOWNS - Over 200 supermarket workers have tested positive for the coronavirus in the Western Cape, the province which is now the epicentre of the virus with 1314 infections and 28 deaths.

Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo said food shops are proving to be the new breeding ground for COVID-19.

Meanwhile, more than 100,000 face masks and other protective gear have been donated to workers in the agriculture sector.

The provincial agriculture department said farm workers and those in food processing are just as essential as nurses and doctors.

Officials told members of the provincial legislature on Friday that more resources are being pumped into rural areas with high COVID-19 infections.

OVER 400,000 SCREENED IN NORTHERN CAPE

Nearly 400,000 Northern Cape residents have been screened for coronavirus. Of these, at least 895 samples have been sent for laboratory testing for the novel coronavirus.

The province’s coronavirus cases have remained at 16 for the past two weeks, with no fatalities recorded.
Health workers in the province have screened 217,458 people in the Pixley ka Seme District, 21,574 in the John Taolo Gaetsewe District and nearly 40,000 in the ZF Mgcawu District.

In the Frances Baard area, 56,329 residents were screened and 53,052 in the Namaqua region. Six cases of local transmission were diagnosed and involve relatives, family friends and an employee of infected people.

An analysis of positive cases picked up in the province showed all coronavirus infections originated in another province or from outside the country.

Provincial health officials said initially, residents were screened and tested at healthcare facilities and roadblocks, but a mass screening programme has now been rolled out in communities.