Covid-19: PPE for workers is crucial, Ekurhuleni mayor tells owners at Boksburg shopping centre

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Ekurhuleni Mayor Mzwandile Masina called on shop owners at the Retail Park in Boksburg, Gauteng, to ensure their workers are protected against Covid-19.

"It is unacceptable that some frontline workers have still not been provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) during the nationwide lockdown," Masina said in a statement on Wednesday.

LIVE | All the latest coronavirus and lockdown updates

This comes after a total of 24 staff members at the Dis-Chem branch in the Retail Park tested positive for the virus on 17 April.

READ | Coronavirus: 24 employees at Boksburg Dis-Chem branch test positive for Covid-19

The mayor's office said this was followed by a staff member at Checkers - two doors down from Dis-Chem - also testing positive.

Masina further suggested the lockdown regulations be amended to include the provision of PPE.

"I think it is now time for the Disaster Management Act, Regulation 11B, Sub-regulation 1C, to be amended to include the provision of PPE for persons providing essential services in retail stores.

"Essential services cannot be provided to middle class citizens at the expense and safety of workers," Masina said.

Following consultation with medical experts, Masina proposed that the health-wise methodology be instituted at the centre, which includes the following measures:

- All staff providing essential services at the Retail Park in Boksburg be provided with PPE, including respiratory masks, gloves and sanitisers.

- Mass testing of all workers providing essential services at the centre takes place immediately.

- Routine medical surveillance be conducted by occupational medical practitioners at the premises.

- Daily situation reports at the Retail Park must be submitted to both local and provincial authorities.

Masina hopes this approach will be adopted by all retailers across the City of Ekurhuleni.

"The containment of Covid-19 in the City of Ekurhuleni is our top priority at the moment. We are doing our utmost to ensure the virus does not spread to our townships and informal settlements. The private sector must play its part in this effort as well," Masina concluded.

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