Covid-19: Mpumalanga Premier, two MECs test positive

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Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane.
Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane.
City Press
  • Mpumalanga's Premier and two MECs have tested positive for Covid-19, but are in good spirits.
  • The Premier, Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane, will work remotely during this time.
  • Residents, meanwhile, were concerned amid the news.

Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane and two of her MECs are in good spirits after testing positive for the Covid-19 virus within less than a week.

The provincial health department has assured citizens that they were not anticipating a second wave.

Mtshweni-Tsipane tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday after she developed flu-like symptoms on Sunday, according to her spokesperson Sibongile Mkani-Mpolweni.

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She said Mtshweni-Tsipane has been in precautionary isolation from Sunday and she would continue to monitor her health.

"The premier is in good spirits and has reported only mild symptoms [of Covid-19]," said Mkani-Mpolweni.

"She will continue to execute her duties remotely. The premier has urged the people of Mpumalanga to continue to use their masks, to disinfect surfaces frequently and wash or sanitise their hands extensively."

The offices of MEC for Community Safety Gabisile Shabalala and MEC for Economic Development and Tourism, Pat Ngomane, have separately announced this week that the two MECs also tested positive for Covid-19.

Positive

Spokesperson for Shabalala, Moeti Mmusi, said Shabalala received her positive results on Thursday.

"MEC Shabalala is in a good condition and is currently in self isolation at home, where she is following all the required precautions as outlined by the medical practitioners," said Mmusi.

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Spokesperson for Ngomane, Mohau Rabodibe, told News24 on Friday that Ngomane was fine and recovering at home.

He said Ngomane received his results on 26 September which confirmed that he has contracted the virus.

"He is working from home. He is doing well and there is nothing that is life-threatening," said Rabodibe.

Several residents of the KwaMhlanga area, about 350 km from Mbombela, expressed fear on Friday and wondered if Mpumalanga was not experiencing a second wave of coronavirus.

Officials

Resident Vusi Kabini told News24 that he was shocked when he heard that the high-ranking officials had contracted the virus.

"It is very worrying to hear that our three leaders have contracted Covid-19 in a period of less than a week," said Kabini.

"Besides, this province has not been badly affected by the Covid-19 like other provinces such as Gauteng and the Western Cape. I hope the positive tests of these three leaders are not the signs of bad things to come from Covid-19."

Another resident, Jane Mahlangu said: "I’m worried and scared but I hope God will protect us until a vaccine is found."

Provincial health spokesperson Dumisani Malamule appealed to citizens not to be scared, adding that there was currently no second wave in the province.

"We are not anticipating a second wave. We have a low number of cases but Covid-19 is still here. We encourage people to wear masks," said Malamule.

Mpumalanga has recorded 27 376 positive cases of Covid-19, 26 022 recoveries, and 561 deaths.

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