- Minister Jackson Mthembu has confirmed that the government communications headquarters has been shut down due to a coronavirus outbreak in the building.
- News24 understands at least 17 staffers have tested positive for Covid-19
- Mthembu says the building has been cleaned and will be ready for use again from Thursday.
Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu confirmed during a media briefing that the head offices of the Government Communications and Information Systems (GCIS) have been shut down following a Covid-19 outbreak.
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News24 understands that at least 17 staffers at GCIS’ Tshedimosetso building in Hatfield tested positive for the coronavirus last week.
This comes as cases of infections head toward a peak in the country, which now has more than 298 000 confirmed cases and 4 346 deaths.
On Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his address to the nation said the Covid-19 storm had arrived in South Africa.
Mthembu, who facilitated a media briefing by ministers from the justice, crime prevention and security cluster of the National Coronavirus Command Council on Wednesday, said the outbreak was “definitely” the reason why the briefings usually held at GCIS, had been moved.
“That’s why, that building had to be fumigated so that we prepare it for use again,” he told journalists.
Mthembu said all employees had been barred from the building as the necessary cleaning took place.
“We can assure the public and the media that that period that needed the building to be prepared for removing any signs of Covid19 is up tomorrow [Thursday],” he said.
“As from tomorrow, we will be back at the GCIS media centre,” he added.
Other insiders said the outbreak took place as all staff were required to work form the office.
The GCIS building is not the first government building to be shut down amid a Covid-19 outbreak. The International Relations and Cooperation Department had its headquarters shut due to a number of positive cases.
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