- 99 staff members who work at a pharmaceutical factory in Cape Town have tested positive
- This was confirmed 4 days after the department of labour found that the factory did not have sufficient measures in place to protect its staff
- The factory would reopen once adequate safety measures are in place until then the staff will continue to receive their pay
A pharmaceutical factory in Cape Town which was shut down due to safety concerns has confirmed that 99 members of staff have tested positive for Covid-19.
Briefly.co.za learned that GlaxoSmithKline confirmed that 99 staff members tested positive, 4 days after the labour department ordered that the factory close due to safety concerns.
“As a result of proactive testing of our employees, we unfortunately now have 99 staff who have been diagnosed with Covid-19,” said GSK's human resources manager in the Cape, Natasha Carnow.
“We are committed to supporting these staff currently who are in isolation, including providing essential food and medical supplies as well as full pay.
“In this way, we will continue producing essential consumer health products for SA while keeping our own people safe.”
The department said that the factory could reopen if the correct health and safety measures are put in place according to Times Live.
"Our decision when to open the site is dependent on a number of factors, most importantly to ensure that we feel comfortable that we are offering the best possible protection and support to our employees, whilst working with our shop stewards to ensure this.
“We have further reinforced measures that were already in place such as the provision of personal protective equipment, hand sanitiser, driving staff to and from work, and social-distance safe practice. We have also deep cleaned the entire factory, and will continue to do so regularly.
“The health of all our employees is our priority. We are working on reopening the site whilst ensuring the health and safety of our team. We continue to work with our global specialists and our union representatives to ensure we are doing everything we can, and will announce our plan to reopen in due course.”
When the labour department ordered that the factory is closed it said that they did not have a risk assessment policy in place that met the needs of the COVID-19 threat such as adequate sanitisation and protective equipment for staff.
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