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Residents claim security guards are putting their health at risk

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Ritchie residents say that security guards continued to work even after the local court building was closed for decontamination after two court employees apparently tested positive for Covid-19.

Pictures: Supplied

RESIDENTS in Ritchie have accused security guards employed at the local court building of putting the health of everyone at risk after they apparently continued with their duties on site after two people employed at the court tested positive for Covid-19.

Spokesperson for the Department of Justice, Chris Phiri, said that the court was closed after the department received information that two people had tested positive.

 “The department was informed on July 16, just before the close of business, that one court orderly had tested positive. The next day we were informed of another positive case. The court was immediately closed.

 “A magistrate and another clerk were tested on July 17 and their tests are still outstanding. The interpreter of the court was not in close contact,” said Phiri.

 Residents in the area said the security company did not take the necessary precautions to ensure that their employees were also tested or even isolated.

 “The security guards and the police officials employed at the court are residents of Ritchie. We heard rumours that the police officials had tested positive and they did not return to work as they had to self-isolate,” residents claimed.

 “The security guards, however, are still working at the court, which was closed. It makes no sense that they should return to their posts as the court was closed to be decontaminated. From what we observed, these security guards were never tested or even advised to stay at home.

 “They had been in close contact with the police officials but they never saw that they might be at risk of contracting the virus,” they said.

 Others accused them of endangering the entire community.

 The contract manager of the security company, Pieter Niemand, said that he was never informed by anyone that there were two positive cases at the court.