Home News Kimberley prison official tests positive for Covid-19

Kimberley prison official tests positive for Covid-19

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The offices of the Department of Correctional Services in Du Toitspan Road in Kimberley were sanitised yesterday while the road in front of the building was blocked off to traffic

AN OFFICIAL at the Department of Correctional Services in Kimberley has tested positive for Covid-19.

This was confirmed by the department, who said in a statement issued on Tuesday that the total number of positive cases of inmates and officials together nationally was now at 321.

The offices of the Department of Correctional Services in Du Toitspan Road in Kimberley were sanitised yesterday while the road in front of the building was blocked off to traffic on both sides by police and traffic officials.

More than 10 people were seen donning white protective suits, while equipment used to spray the sanitiser was being prepared for use.

People working in other offices in the Du Toitspan Building were not able to access or leave their offices while the department’s offices were being sterilised.

Department of Correctional Services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said on Tuesday that the case in Kimberley was noted together with a resurgence of positive cases in East London, where 98 sentenced inmates tested positive for Covid-19.  Additionally, six officials and three inmates were confirmed to be positive in the Western Cape, while Kimberly registered the one case of an official. “As a result, the total number of positive cases is now at 321.”

Nxumalo stated that in order to avail immediate expertise in the management of infections, prevention and control measures, the department had appointed a medical advisory panel and an additional 393 nursing personnel. 

“This measure is also aimed at strengthening the capacity of the department in dealing with Covid-19, particularly in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape.” 

The number of recoveries has increased to 92.  

In response to media enquiries on whether the official in Kimberley was in contact with offenders, Nxumalo said that the department “did not run commentary on individual cases due to the stigmatisation that officials are subjected to”.

It is believed, however, that the official worked in the administration offices and did not deal directly with offenders.

Between 50 and 60 officials of the department, who also work in the Du Toitspan Building offices, were apparently notified over the weekend not to report for duty until further notice. They were sent for testing on Tuesday and will self-isolate at home until their results come back.

The Northern Cape Department of Health confirmed on Monday evening that 30 people in the Province had now tested positive for Covid-19.

The latest person to test positive is, according to the department, a 43-year-old female who lives in the Sol Plaatje Municipality. “She was admitted to hospital in Kimberley for an operation not related to Covid-19,” the department said in a statement.