File picture: African News Agency (ANA)
File picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Potential Covid-19 outbreak on West Coast farm

By Siphokazi Vuso Time of article published Feb 22, 2021

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Cape Town – The provincial Health Department's local outbreak response team will follow up with affected persons after reports of nearly 30 farmworkers at Matroozefontein Farm on the West Coast testing positive for Covid-19 at the weekend.

Rural and Farmworkers Development Organisation director Billy Claasen said he had alerted officials to the possibility of an outbreak.

“About a month ago I started talking about the outbreak of Covid-19 on a farm. I was crucified by farmers and, among others, the management of Matroozefontein Farm, a division of the International Unifrutti group.

''My parents live on the farm in question. My sister works for them and tested positive on Monday, February 15. I was in close contact with her.

’’I decided to take my parents and other family for testing on February 16. We were all positive,” he said.

Claasen said that some farmworkers were still awaiting their results.

When contacted for comment yesterday, the farm's management said they would respond once they had all the facts.

Health Department spokesperson Mark van der Heever said: “The department's local outbreak response team will follow up with the affected group.

“This forms part of our local surveillance in watching for any cluster outbreaks. If anyone cannot isolate safely we will offer them accommodation at a safe site.”

Cape Times

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