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Mineworker COVID-19 deaths reach double digits in South Africa

Ten of the country’s mineworkers have now died from COVID-19, according to the latest figures from the Minerals Council South Africa.
Mineworker COVID-19 deaths reach double digits in South Africa Mineworker COVID-19 deaths reach double digits in South Africa Mineworker COVID-19 deaths reach double digits in South Africa Mineworker COVID-19 deaths reach double digits in South Africa Mineworker COVID-19 deaths reach double digits in South Africa

The Minerals Council South Africa’s COVID-19 dashboard at June 30

Staff reporter

The number of positive cases has grown to 2,328, up from about 1,000 two weeks ago.

The number of cases globally has risen well above 10 million and deaths above 500,000 as the global pandemic continues.

The council said yesterday of the industry's 424,275 employees, 286,624 had been screened and 19,026 tested, with 871 tests pending.

It said the mining test rate was 4.48%, above the country's 2.69% and global 3.05%.

Employees were screened every time they reported for work.

However the council last week said it was looking increase testing capacity, for both the industry and South Africa, due to the exigencies of mining operations and the high number of asymptomatic cases.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, which successfully fought for mandatory COVID-19 guidelines to protect workers, had called for universal testing of mineworkers a month ago.

The country's mines are ramping up after being allowed to return to a 100% workforce capacity on June 1, although there are logistical challenges including for foreign workers returning.

The council said last month there were about 44,500 foreign employees registered through TEBA and at that point, 9,500 were scheduled to return to work and would all have to undergo a 14-day quarantine.

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