Coronavirus: Our sister was harassed by neighbours after testing positive, says Joburg family

(Gallo Images)
(Gallo Images)

A Sandhurst, Johannesburg, woman who voluntarily disclosed her Covid-19 infection to her neighbourhood has been subjected to harassment, stigmatisation and victimisation, her family claimed in a statement posted on social media.

"Little did she know that this would have made her a victim of stigmatisation and harassment.

"One or more of her neighbours, without informing her, called a raid on her by the SAPS and ambulance personnel. They said her neighbours had reported that she was a danger to their lives by being on the property," her sister, who will not be named due to victimisation, said.

Her family claimed that this was followed by a text message from one of her neighbours, demanding the test results of her family, as well as her staff members.

"Over and above the anxiety that she is already experiencing from having contracted the virus, she is left feeling more anxious, harassed and afraid," her sister said.

The woman voluntarily went for testing two weeks ago after presenting several symptoms.

Five days later, she received her results, which revealed that she had tested positive for the deadly virus, which originated in Wuhan, China.

After driving herself to a hospital for further care, the woman was allegedly instructed to go home to self-isolate.

She also got her son and staff tested. They have since been in self-isolation, waiting for their results.

READ: Cyril Ramaphosa | A lesson from Wuhan repatriates: lockdown works

The family is set to take legal action on the matter, it said.

The Gauteng health department said it was responsible of the woman to voluntarily disclose her test results, adding that the harassment she faced was a "no-no".

"The issue here is harassment. No one should be harassed, whether there is Covid or not," health department spokesperson Kwara Kekana told News24.

"You cannot force people to test  it is good that she volunteered information to alert others to be cautious but harassment is a no-no."

To date, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country is 1 462, an increase of 82 from the previous update.

In Gauteng alone, the numbers have risen to 663.

At least five deaths have been reported.

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