Ulundi municipality to test all employees for Covid-19 through private lab
DURBAN - The Ulundi local municipality in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province said it was funding the testing of all 400 of its employees and councilors for the coronavirus after 19 cases were reported in neighbouring Umthonjaneni.
Ulundi municipal manager Nkosenye Zulu said employees who had been tested for Covid-19 by the Department of Health in early May still had not received their results, meaning the council was not able to take appropriate protective and preventive measures.
“Therefore it's only logical that rather than re-testing only those who were tested (previously) council is advised to secure a reliable testing service through (private laboratory) Lancet directly," Zulu said.
"What remains now is that all employees and officials, inclusive of those with co-comorbidities and those over 60 years presents themselves on Friday ... for private testing."
Ulundi mayor Wilson Ntshangase and 46 other councilors will be among those tested.
Ntshangase said developments at the neighbouring Mthonjaneni municipality suggested that some people were providing untruthful answers during screening to avoid being tested, leading to "a misnomer in terms of the correct Covid-19 cases in an area".
He acknowledged that financial restrictions also meant that not everyone could be tested, but added that "a better-safe-than-sorry" approach in this instance was advisable.
"The leadership of this municipality ... calls on every councilor and employee to present themselves for testing on Friday ... and assures everyone that during this testing all health-related protocols will be observed, including the non-disclosure of the individual results," Ntshngase added.African News Agency