Madibeng’s Covid-19 cases had increased to 27 by Wednesday, 10 June. The North West Department of Health would not reveal where the cases are, saying that this kind of information is not made public.

North West’s cases have doubled over the past week, bringing the total on Wednesday to 604, of which 104 have recovered.

More than a half of the total Covid-19 cases in North West are in the mining industry, the department said. A large number of Madibeng residents work at these mines in the Bojanala (Rustenburg) district.

This has raised fears that the mining industry has become the new Covid-19 epicentre. It is feared that the Covid-19 cases may increase dramatically as more mineworkers from other provinces and neighbouring countries return to work in the coming weeks.

“We have told mining companies that those bringing people back must say where they are coming from and each returning mine worker must go into a 14-day quarantine before getting to work,” said Provincial Health MEC, Madoda Sambatha.

The North West COVID-19 Command Council said the mines have become hotspots for the virus in the North West and more effort is needed to curb the disease from spreading to mining communities. Mining companies have been urged to make sure that mineworkers who test positive and their contacts are isolated at quarantine sites approved by government.

“The North West Provincial Government has increased bed availability through partnerships with the private sector and mining companies. We have also ensured the availability of medicines required to treat the complications of COVID-19; and this includes analgesic, antipyretics, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, anticoagulants, Zinc Sulphate, Vitamin C,” said Vuyisile Ngesi, spokesperson for the Office of the Premier.

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