A Bergrivier municipal worker has alleged that the municipality spread unconfirmed news that she had tested positive for Covid-19 despite her not having received her test results.
The municipality has denied the allegation.
Simonia Philander, who is the indigent examiner at the municipality, said a week after she went for a test on May 5, news was spread in Velddrif that she was the first Covid-19 positive case.
She had since been victimized by everyone around her, she said.
“I did not receive my results, but a week after I was tested they didn’t pick up my rubbish. There was nothing wrong with me, I didn’t get tested because I wanted to, I got tested because work sent me to get tested – I didn’t have any symptoms,” she said.
Philander said she was still waiting to find out who was spreading the rumours.
“My name was put on Facebook. I must face people after this. The people are talking in the shops – I can’t even go there anymore. People were looking at me like ‘that is the girl with the Covid’.
“My children were tested, my household tested negative. I just wanted to know where people got the fake news. No councillor or any head of the Bergrivier Municipality has been here to check if we have food, or how we are surviving, while everybody in my household is in quarantine.
“I’ve been working for Bergrivier for almost 10 years. My heart was broken after that day,” she said.
Rural and Farmworkers’ Development Organisation executive director Billy Claasen alleged that the municipal manager spread the news in an email.
But Municipal manager Hanlie Linde has denied the allegation, saying: “It is not the way we operate or will ever operate.”
Linde said that in line with the national regulations under alert level 4, the municipality had arranged with the Department of Health to screen all essential staff members.
“I did not announce any results via email and anyone alleging that is doing so maliciously, because they know it is not the way we operate or will ever operate.
“The Department of Health determined who of the employees, who were screened, needed to be tested and from there all communication with the patients was done by the Department of Health,” she said.
Bergrivier mayor Ray van Rooy said Philander did not hear about her test results on the streets, as she claimed.
“She was visited by a nursing sister at her home where she was informed of the results.
“As protocol dictates, everyone that Ms. Philander came into contact with was also tested. Bergrivier Municipality does not receive test results,” said Van Rooy.