Pikitup shuts two depots following spike in Covid-19 cases among employees

Pikitup shuts two depots following spike in Covid-19 cases among employees

Pikitup truck. Picture: Pikitup website

Close to 50 cases have been confirmed at both depots resulting in a shut down of operations to allow for self-isolation of employees and to give them a chance to recover.

After receiving confirmation that a further 30 employees at their Roodepoort depot have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, Pikitup, the waste management entity of the City of Johannesburg, has shut down the depot until further notice.

“The Roodepoort depot was initially closed on 15 June 2020 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,” said the City of Johannesburg in a statement.

“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, 1 July 2020, an additional 30 Covid-19 positive cases were confirmed,” added Pikitup.

This brings the total number of employees infected by the virus to 45.

According to the City, 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 today, 2 July 2020.

“In the interim, augmented services will be deployed to ensure that the Pikitup 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.”

The City has assured that 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.

Roodeport is not the entity’s only area of concern as confirmation has also been received of a positive case at the Marlboro depot.

“Similarly, a decision has been taken to close the depot. This effectively means that the depot will re-open on Monday, 6 July 2020. Waste collection services will be rendered through augmented services in all the areas serviced by the depot.”

Furthermore, the Pikitup board of directors has, through its chairperson, registered its concern 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 social distancing, wear face masks at all times, wash hands with soap and water or alternatively use sanitisers.

“Pikitup will do all that is necessary to ensure that employees are protected and supported during these trying times. Our prayers and sympathies go to all affected and infected employees and their families.”

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.

today in print