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Mangaung Speaker tests negative for Covid-19

The speaker of the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, Mxolisi Siyonzane, yesterday (Thurs) got a clean bill of health after his results for Covid-19 tested negative.

Siyonzane, who had been in self-quarantine at his home for the past seven days, told the Free State Weekly in an interview that he had to undergo testing after one of his staff members tested positive for the virus on Saturday.

“I work closely with this person and had two engagements with him before he tested positive. However I’ve been cleared now and I’m free to go back to work,” a buoyed Siyonzane said.

Siyonzane indicated his staff in the office of the Speaker were tested after getting in contact with the infected person, and they tested negative.

“I’m out of danger for now and have to ensure I remain out of it by following all protocols of preventing infection through sanitising, washing my hands regularly, and keeping to social distancing,” noted the Speaker.

He added the official that tested positive is recuperating in hospital and expected to be discharged soon.

The incident saw the metro closing down its main operations office at the Bram Fischer Building in Bloemfontein on Monday.

Services only resumed the following day after the offices were decontaminated as per standard procedure to curb the spread of the virus.

The metro said the official that tested positive was subjected to daily screening since the beginning of the week and showed no signs or symptoms of the deadly virus.

The first signs of infection only became visible on Thursday last week upon which the official went for testing at a private health facility and his results came back positive on Saturday.

“Our first priority as the city is the health and wellbeing of employees and citizens. We have implemented several robust measures across all regional offices and facilities to prevent the spread of the virus and identify any possible cases as soon as possible,” the municipality said in a statement.

These measures include providing personal protective equipment, sanitisers at all entry points, as well as educational and awareness campaigns for staff.

Furthermore the metro said the building is deep cleaned regularly and this will continue after the decontamination process is done.

The municipality will also focus on re-screening all employees and this will be extended to other municipal buildings this week.

“Operations at all other regional offices and pay points of the city will continue as normal. Payment of municipal accounts can alternatively be done via internet banking or any Nedbank branch. To check balances, resident should go to the municipal website and follow prompts on check balances link,” added Mangaung.

Meanwhile in another Covid-19 related matter, a police administration building at the Ficksburg Border post was earlier in the week also temporarily closed after an official tested positive for the coronavirus.

The building has since undergone deep decontamination and services have been resumed.

By: Ramosidi Matekane