Leaders close shop over Covid-19 case

People who had been queuing to enter the store were told by community leaders to go home as one of the employees at the store had contracted the coronavirus.

Site C community leaders instructed a leading retailer to close its shop after workers expressed concerns for their health when one of their colleagues tested positive for Covid-19.

The store manager, however, told Vukani they had followed the necessary protocol, including closing and sanitising the store and arranging screening for the staff.

The leaders visited Shoprite in Site C last Thursday to inform the store manager about the workers’ concerns and forced the store to close.

The leaders said they had been informed that one of the workers tested positive when she went to seek medical help last Sunday after she had been coughing.

On Tuesday, they said, the worker received her results stating that she was positive and she then informed her bosses.

Community leader Xolani Dywili said the store was closed for a day but workers had not been sent for screening or testing. The leaders argued that the shop should have been closed for five days.

“We ourselves might be the carriers of the disease and we enter the store and infect everyone.

We want the store to open once all proper measures have been done. What the store has done is not enough. We want the entire staff to be tested and we want the shop to be (sanitised).

“The reason the workers have called us to step in is because they fear victimisation,” he said.

Store manager, Brian Joseph, said after they were informed that one of the staff had tested positive for the virus, the store was immediately closed and sanitised. In addition to this, he said, a mobile clinic was then requested to come and screen the staff.

Thirteen people were referred to the Khayelitsha District Hospital for further assessment, he said, and transport was arranged for them.

Another group was also sent to the hospital afterwards, he said, adding that he would inform his bosses of the community leaders’ demands.

Another community leader, Joyce Sakati, said the store should only open when all the staff were cleared while Khayelitsha SANCO representative, Lonwabo Mqhina, said they wanted the workers to remain in isolation until they were medically cleared.