40 members of Cape Town battalion test positive for Covid-19 on deployment to Zim border
Forty soldiers have tested positive for the coronavirus in Limpopo, the South African National Defence Force has confirmed. They remain isolated and have not come into contact with broader society.
“Like all other front line workers, SANDF soldiers are exposed to the scourge of Covid-19, more than the average citizen,” the defence department said.
The troops are from an infantry battalion based in Cape Town.
The SANDF said it had ensured that all the necessary precautions were in place and the battalion was under a 14-day quarantine period at their home unit in Cape Town before being transported to Lephalale to augment another battalion in the SANDF’s safeguarding role on the border between SA and Zimbabwe.
“The battalion arrived in Lephalale on June 13 2020 and were immediately placed under the 14-day quarantine period at the South African Military Health Services Training Centre in Lephalale, as per the stipulated health protocols. As is the norm during Mission Readiness Training, none of these members were allowed outside the base.”
After some members were screened, it became clear that a number of them needed to be tested. “It was established that certain members tested positive for Covid-19. A decision was then taken for the entire battalion to be tested.
“Those found to be positive were isolated in a facility inside the base that has been specifically established and prepared for this purpose.”