Pharmacy group Dis-Chem has revealed that a total of 24 staff members at its Retail Park store in Boksburg had tested positive for COVID-19 as of Friday, 17 April.
In a statement on Saturday, the group’s national clinic manager Lizeth Kruger said a total of 132 staff members had been tested.
All the 24 positive cases are “symptom-free,” Kruger said. The first positive case was confirmed on 9 April, after which Dis-Chem put all close contacts in isolation and screened them.
Store professionally cleaned, reopened
Kruger added, “The store was professionally cleaned. In addition, it took the precaution of testing the entire staff complement and any with symptoms were self-isolated immediately.
“Three additional staff members, who were both asymptomatic, then tested positive and were immediately quarantined in line with Department of Health protocol.”
She said the group conducted a repeat test on all the store’s staff members on Thursday which revealed an additional 20 asymptomatic positive cases.
“As an essential service provider to a large percentage of the Boksburg community, the store was reopened on Friday with a totally new staff complement after further professional cleaning,” Kruger added.
Entire staff complement in self-isolation
She emphasised that the store’s entire staff complement is in self-isolation and the store has been re-staffed with employees from other Dis-Chem outlets.
As of Friday, 17 April, South Africa had a total of 2,783 confirmed COVID-19 cases out of more than 100,000 tests.
50 people had lost their lives to the disease, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize confirmed. His earlier update on Thursday, 16 April revealed that there had been 903 recoveries.
Gauteng remains the pandemic’s epicentre in South Africa with a total of 1,018 confirmed cases as of 17 April.
Boksburg falls under Ekurhuleni, which had the second-highest number of confirmed cases in Gauteng (196) after Johannesburg (599), according to an update by the provincial health department on Saturday.
The department also said a total of six people had lost their lives in Gauteng while 540 had recovered.