MBABANE: Anita Belcher, the Buy and Save Group Communication Officer has confirmed that one of their Managers who was based in Manzini has died of COVID-19.
The deceased who happens to be the second confirmed victims of the pandemic is a 57-year old male as announced by Lizzie Nkosi, the Minister of Health in a press conference, his name cannot be disclosed as the company is yet to official report the death to his family.
In a press release sent to this Swaziland News on Wednesday evening, the Communications Officer said the unfortunate death of the Manager comes after a vigorous preventive process that was adopted by the company after learning that one of their suppliers had tested positive.
“On the 20THApril 2020, one of our suppliers informed us that one of their Representatives who had visited our Thekwini Bus rank branch had tested positive for the Covid- 19. We then held a meeting with our senior staff to enquire who could have been in contact with the representative. We were informed by one of our staff members that the external Rep had not come in however the external Merchandiser did visit the store and could have been in contact with the staff in store. It was on this basis that we decided to have the staff tested. We further took the decision to investigate all areas the Merchandiser could have gone to whilst in the store” said the Communication Officer.
She said on the 20thApril 2020, the five staff members were called and asked to avail themselves for testing by Ampath Laboratories, they were then placed in isolation.
“On the early morning of the 23rdApril 2020 we received the results of the five staff that had tested on the 21stApril and of those five one’s result was positive. The Ministry of Health was notified,and the staff member was told to continue to self-isolate whilst awaiting further communication from the Ministry of Health. The Ministry of Health called the staff member privately and arranged to take the staff member to the referral hospital in Siteki” she said.
The Buy and Save Communication Officer said after learning that one of their own had tested positive, they took a decision to close the store to sanitize the premises including its surroundings.
“We then traced close contacts of the positive staff member and placed the staff concerned in self-quarantine. The Ministry of Health was engaged on the guidelines, protocol and procedure to be followed after a positive case has been confirmed and how soon business can resume activity. The advice given and followed is that we can re-open, once the store has been fully sanitized and positive staff has been removed from the premises into isolation. On the 23rdApril 2020 the company decided to test a further six staff members and the store remained closed whilst we awaited the results. The six staff were also placed in self-quarantine whilst waiting for results” she said.