A section of the Eastern Cape health department call centre building in East London has been temporarily closed and will be decontaminated after four of its head office staff tested positive for Covid-19.
This brings the number of health workers who have tested positive for the coronavirus in the province to 57, according to the health department.
Three have died.
The offices of MEC Sindiswa Gomba and superintendent-general Dr Thobile Mbengashe are in the same building as the provincial call centre.
The MEC and SG have both tested negative.
Health department spokesperson Sizwe Kupela said the department would be working with Buffalo City Metro’s environmental health services in temporarily closing the affected section for decontamination and deep cleaning.
“For now, the call centre and the offices of the senior officials will remain open,” said Kupelo. “All contacts of the positive employees will be followed up with for tracing and testing. This will also apply to all other staff in the building.”
Kupelo said the four officials tested positive despite all precautions taken, including the use of personal protective equipment and hand sanitisers.
“Everyone is at risk of being infected with this virus, but we will continue ensuring our health workers who have bravely been in the front line in the fight against this invisible enemy, are armed with all the necessary tools they need,” he said.
The MEC thanked the provincial health workers for their hard work since the Covid-19 outbreak.
“Their dedication and commitment has been unmatched,” she said.
“From general workers, porters, clerks, to nurses and doctors, our health workers have really gone above and beyond the call of duty during this difficult time.”
MEC called on people to adhere to national lockdown regulations by staying at home, practising good personal hygiene by washing their hands with soap and water or sanitiser, and socially distancing.