The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) has confirmed that one of its officials, located at East London Correctional Centre in the Eastern Cape, has tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Correctional Services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo says the woman is in a stable condition in hospital.

As part of precautionary measures, the department has identified other officials who came into contact with her and advised them to self-isolate at home while waiting to be tested.

Nxumalo says the National Institute for Communicable Disease (NICD) will commence with mass screening and testing on Wednesday at East London Female Correctional Centre.

“Prevention measures will continue to be intensified, whilst mass screening is scheduled for all correctional centres which shall assist the department in its efforts of averting the transmission of the virus. Correctional Services would like to appeal for calm during this period. We are committed to the wellbeing of offenders and officials in the department.”

The number of coronavirus cases in South Africa has increased by 31, bringing the number to 1 686. In a statement, the Department of Health has also announced another death of a 57-year-old man from the Western Cape.

KwaZulu-Natal accounts for the most deaths with seven fatalities followed by the Western Cape with three. Gauteng and the Free State each have one death from coronavirus.

Gauteng currently has 713 cases, followed by the Western Cape with 462 cases.