The South African Air Force (SAAF) on Tuesday said it has temporarily closed down its headquarters in Pretoria after two officials tested positive for coronavirus (Covid-19).
“The South African Air Force has closed down for two days for deep cleaning after two people working at SAAF headquarters tested positive for the novel Covid-19 virus. As a precaution, the SAAF headquarters building has been evacuated and it is undergoing decontamination,” the air wing of the South African National Defence Force said.
The two individuals have since been quarantined according to the South African national department of health protocols and regulations.
“As a precautionary measure, the building was closed on Tuesday until further notice to allow for the necessary decontamination processes to take place as required by the health protocols,” the SAAF said.
“As a precautionary measure, all employees who, at any given time in the last 14 days, came into contact with the positive persons to immediately consult with medical specialists for Covid-19 screening and testing.”
As of Tuesday, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said South Africa had recorded more than 52,900 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and over 1,100 deaths.
This is an increase of 2 112 cases, taking confirmed positive cases since March to 52,991.
Data released by Mkhize showed that there were just under one million Covid-19 tests which had been conducted in the country.
Last month, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that all of South Africa was moving to level 3 of the Covid-19 nationwide lockdown from 1 June.
“Moving to alert level 3 marks a significant shift in our approach to the pandemic. This will result in the opening up of the economy and the removal of a number of restrictions on the movement of people, while significantly expanding and intensifying our public health interventions,” Ramaphosa said at the time.
The nationwide night-time curfew will also be lifted. Earlier on Tuesday, Ramaphosa expressed his condolences over the fatalities from Covid-19 as the national death toll breached 1,000 and the number of confirmed cases surpassed 50,000.
In a statement, Ramaphosa said his government would, if necessary, impose a higher alert level in specific parts of the country to prevent a rapid increase in cases of the coronavirus that has infected more than 7.2 million people globally since December and taken more than 409,000 lives.