Limpopo authorities track down family of positive man

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South Africa is set to ramp up testing for the Covid-19 coronavirus. Picture: iStock/Gallo Images
South Africa is set to ramp up testing for the Covid-19 coronavirus. Picture: iStock/Gallo Images

Limpopo health authorities are tracking down relatives and friends of a man who defied orders to self-quarantine and travelled to his home village from Gauteng after his Covid-19 test allegedly returned positive.

The man was apprehended yesterday. He had left his place of quarantine in Gauteng to travel to Limpopo.

Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba said she was worried that such behaviour would cause further damage. The province was – with the rest of the country – trying hard to curb the spread of Covid-19.

His family will immediately get tested and quarantined to curb the virus from spreading
Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba

Ramathuba said the patient was tested in Gauteng and ordered to remain at home by officials in that province.

However, he decided to drive to Limpopo where he interacted with other people.

“His family will immediately get tested and quarantined to curb the virus from spreading,” said Ramathuba.

National police spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo said the man was handed over to the Limpopo health department by police.

“He was not arrested,” Naidoo said.

The patient was not aware that he was positive when he left Gauteng, he said.

“It turned out that he was not aware of his positive status and he [is now with] the health department and will be quarantined,” said Naidoo.

The disturbing news came days after Ramathuba pleaded for those who stay in other provinces to remain there and not travel to Limpopo.

“His results came out positive and tracer teams in Gauteng struggled to locate him until he was found in Limpopo, where the health department acted swiftly to have the man taken into isolation,” said Ramathuba.

Being an underresourced province, the only way we can win this battle is to ensure that those who must be screened and tested, are done so, and those who must self-quarantine and isolate, must also do so
Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba

She said the department would not hesitate to take in anyone who breaks the state of disaster regulations.

“Being an underresourced province, the only way we can win this battle is to ensure that those who must be screened and tested, are done so, and those who must self-quarantine and isolate, must also do so,” Ramathuba said.

“Those who fail to observe these basics and expose our communities to danger will be held and isolated.”

Ramathuba expressed concern that the movement of people into the province might have dire consequences and scupper efforts to control the spread of the virus.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize identified Gauteng as South Africa’s epicentre for Covid-19 as the number of people affected has increased to more than 1 000 nationally. – Mukurukuru Media


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