40 SANDF soldiers at SA-Zim border test positive for Covid-19

By Jonisayi Maromo Time of article published Jul 2, 2020

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Pretoria - The SANDF on Thursday confirmed that about 40 of its deployed members in Limpopo had tested positive for Covid-19. 

“The battalion that was identified to be deployed to the province is an infantry battalion from Cape Town. As always the SANDF ensured that all the necessary precautions were in place and the battalion was under a 14-day quarantine period at their home unit in Cape Town before being transported to Lephalale to augment another battalion in the SANDF’s safeguarding role on the border between South Africa and Zimbabwe,” the SANDF said in a statement.

The battalion arrived in Lephalale on June 13 and was immediately placed under another 14-day quarantine period at the South African Military Health Services Training Centre in Lephalale, as per stipulated health protocols.

“As is the norm during mission readiness training, none of these members were allowed outside the base. After some members (were) screened it became clear that a number of them needed to be tested. It was established that certain members tested positive for Covid-19,” the SANDF said.

“A decision was then taken for the entire battalion to be tested. Those found positive were isolated in a facility inside the base that has been specifically established and prepared for this purpose.”

Members of the SANDF have been deployed in various roles in South Africa’s ongoing fight against Covid-19, including as support for other government departments.

As of Wednesday, the cumulative number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in South Africa was 159 333, with 8 124 new cases, health minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize announced. The number of coronavirus-related deaths stood at 2 749. 

Case data shows that the Western Cape has the highest number of infections (64 377), followed by Gauteng with 45 944, the Eastern Cape with 29 340 and KwaZulu-Natal with 10 632. 

North West has 4 393 confirmed cases, Free State has 1 672, Mpumalanga has 1 306, Limpopo has 1 175 and Northern Cape has 494.

African News Agency 

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