Eastern Cape lodge closes after German visitor tests positive for coronavirus

2020-03-23 15:12

Crawford Beach Lodge in the Eastern Cape shut its doors after a German tourist, who had visited the premises, tested positive for the coronavirus.

The lodge's owner, Mark Crawford, said he had no idea the tourist had done precautionary tests for the coronavirus in KwaZulu-Natal before arriving in the Eastern Cape. He said he was told the guest had been part of a group of 11 German tourists who had visited the country. 

He said the tourist was quarantined after doing the precautionary tests.

No idea

"I had no idea this was going on. We only got notified by the Minister of Tourism and the Minister of Health that this had happened," the owner told News24.

He said the tourist had booked at the accommodation through an agent. The agent, however, did not inform the lodge the tourist was at risk and had tested for the virus.

Crawford said the lodge, which is situated about 40km outside East London, would now be under lockdown for about of two weeks while it was reassessed by the health department.

He said they were "caught off guard" and had to react immediately to ensure no one was exposed.

The closure, however, will not hit the business hard in the pocket because it is insured for such incidents, Crawford said.

"It (insurance) does not cover cancellation, but now that there is a case inside the hotel, the insurance actually does cover this. I will be able to pay my staff now that this is happening," the owner said.


While all protocol will be followed, Crawford said the lodge will undergo deep cleaning before opening its doors again. 

The Eastern Cape premier, Oscar Mabuyane, said on Twitter: "Our facilities are ready to provide medical treatment to the patient. Members of the public must not panic but implement every precautionary measure that has been communicated to prevent the spread of this virus."

President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to address the nation on Monday evening. He is expected to give an update on the government's efforts to prevent the further spread of the virus. 

Read more on:    east london  |  coronavirus

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