Impala Platinum Mine has temporarily suspended operations at its Marula Platinum mine in Limpopo. This follows the detection of six more COVID-19 cases among workers at the plant. The latest figure brings to 19 the number of mineworkers who have tested positive at the mine.
In a statement, Implats says none of the 19 infected workers had started working when they were tested. Two of the cases are employees who had travelled back to the mine from the Eastern Cape. One is a contact of one of the employees who tested positive earlier.
The company adds that 17 of the cases reside in the Burgersfort area, which the company fears indicates high prevalence of the virus in the locality.
According to the company, all the mine workers who tested positive have been placed at the mine’s isolation site. The company says they are continuously tracing and screening the infected workers’ contacts.
Meanwhile, the Limpopo COVID-19 Command Council will meet with various mining companies this coming week. Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba says the meeting will focus on the provision of quarantine facilities for workers in high-risk areas.
“We will quarantine, but we will only quarantine those who test positive. So this is where there is a gap to say we are saying from our side, quarantine everyone because we don’t know who is infected and who is not.”
In the video below, Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba talks about the cases