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Bus passengers sought after man en route to Cape Town dies of Covid-19

By Siphokazi Vuso Time of article published Jan 7, 2021

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Cape Town - The Western Cape Health Department is contact-tracing more than 20 passengers who were travelling from the Eastern Cape by bus on Saturday after one of the passengers collapsed and died of Covid-19 en route to Cape Town.

This after a list of the passengers from various Cape townships who were using the Jobela Star bus service was circulated on social media on Tuesday.

Mpendulo Jobela, of the bus service, said the passenger who died got on the bus at Tsomo in the Eastern Cape and collapsed when the bus stopped in Beaufort West.

“As usual it stopped there so people could refresh themselves, and while people were out on the way to use the bathrooms, he collapsed. This happened … around 8pm. There were about 20 to 25 passengers on the bus.

“We heard on Tuesday that the passenger died of Covid-19, after we were contacted by the Department of Health.

“We have taken the bus for fumigation and the drivers are in quarantine,” he said.

A passenger who asked to remain anonymous said the sick man had complained to another passenger of the heat in the bus and that he was short of breath while approaching Queenstown.

“I only heard about this late yesterday. I saw many missed calls on my phone from people and I heard that the passenger had Covid-19. Luckily I was sitting … at the back. I am fine and the two children I was travelling with are fine,” she said.

Provincial health department spokesperson Mark van der Heever said they were aware of the incident.

“We have requested the list of passengers in order to follow up with the close contacts. But we did not disclose the list of names and would advise anyone who has it to respect the confidentiality of others,” Van der Heever said.

Khayelitsha Development Forum chairperson Ndithini Tyhido urged members of the community who may know of someone who was on the bus to notify them to go for a Covid-19 test.

“We are grateful that Jobela cooperated when we did our enquiries. We are encouraging the Department of Health to do tracing of all those people who may have been in contact and we encourage the community who may know someone who may have been in the bus to tell them to get tested,” he said.

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Cape Times

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