West Rand mine halts underground operations as 53 miners test positive for Covid-19
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Johannesburg - Underground operations at Anglo Ashanti Mponeng mine in Merafong have been stopped until further notice after 53 miners tested positive for Covid-19.
The miners have since been put in isolation and a response team has also been dispatched to trace all the people who came into contact with them.
Spokesperson for Gauteng Department of Health Kwarra Kekana said the mine management indicated that all underground miners, 378 of them, were tested for the virus.
Of the 378, test results of 274 employees are out while 104 were still being processed.
"MEC Bandile Masuku and the Gauteng Health team will meet with the mine management this afternoon, May 24, to receive a report and consolidate the response and management of the cases.
"The West Rand district health services team will also meet with mine officials on Monday to also so enhance the response of the district and he mine collectively," she said.
Meanwhile the North West government has ordered the placement of 32 mineworkers into quarantine after two of them tested positive for Covid-19 during a screening and testing process at their workplace at the Setlagole mine outside Mahikeng.
North West Health MEC Madoda Sambatha said the two miners who tested positive were part of 500 mineworkers who reported for work this week at a Harmony Gold Mine - KalGold in Setlagole - outside Mahikeng, in the North West.
Sambatha said all 500 were subjected to screening and testing for the virus but that the results came back and only two tested positive.
Sambatha, however, said he instructed Harmony Gold and the district health to place 20 other employees who were working in the same unit with the positive patients.
He added that the other 10 patients were contracted to the mine and had contact with the 22 employees.