The City of Johannesburg’s waste management entity Pikitup has received confirmation that a further 30 employees at the Roodepoort depot have tested positive for Covid-19, taking the total number of employees infected by the virus to 45.
The Roodepoort depot was initially closed on June 15 when one employee had tested positive for the virus after Pikitup’s medical personnel had conducted screening and testing at the site. The employee has since died.
Following this incident, the Roodepoort depot was closed for 14 days and all employees were ordered to self-isolate. During the closure, Pikitup continued with the mass screening and testing of employees who had direct contact with the infected employees. A further 15 cases were confirmed positive and by Wednesday, July 1, an additional 30 Covid-19 positive cases were confirmed.
It is against this backdrop that Pikitup has resolved to continue with the closure of the Roodepoort depot for a further 14 days. The depot was supposed to have resumed operations on July 2.
In the interim, augmented services will be deployed to ensure Pikitup's services continue in areas serviced by the depot. The decision to close the depot is in line with Pikitup’s risk management approach to ensure that the danger of spreading the virus is contained.
Pikitup’s health and wellness department will provide continuous monitoring services to all the employees during the isolation period and where Covid-19 symptoms are observed, such employees will be subjected to testing.
In addition to the Roodepoort depot matter, confirmation has also been received of a positive case at Pikitup's Marlboro depot.
Similarly, a decision has been taken to close that depot. This effectively means that the depot will re-open on Monday, July 6. Waste collection services will be rendered through augmented services in all the areas serviced by the depot.
The Pikitup board of directors through its chairperson is concerned about the rise in infections despite the measures that have been put in place by management. The board encourages all employees to adhere to the health protocols as provided by the health team, to maintain physical distancing, wear face masks at all times, wash hands with soap and water or alternatively use sanitisers.
Pikitup says it will do all that is necessary to ensure employees are protected and supported during these trying times.