The upper political echelons in the North West province of South Africa has been hit by a mini-COVID-19 tsunami.
The Premier of the province Job Mokgoro and Saliva Molapisi, a member of the North West executive council for Public Works and Roads have tested positive for COVID-19. The development comes a day after their colleague, Gordon Kegakilwe, who was responsible for Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs, died from COVID-19 pneumonia.
Mokgoro and Molapisi have now gone into self-isolation.
“Premier Mokgoro is not incapacitated to carry out his duties as he was only presented with only one symptom – which is cough – although he tested positive. The Premier will, therefore, continue to discharge his duties albeit remotely and has instructed members of the Premier’s Support Staff who have worked with him closely in the last two weeks to test; while taking the necessary precautions. The Provincial Department of Health has already begun with contact tracing in this regard,” a statement from the provincial government.
Molapisi is also not incapacitated and will work from home.
Earlier, Mokgoro formally announced the death of Kegakilwe.
Mokgoro said: “MEC Kegakilwe was admitted with COVID pneumonia yesterday afternoon at the Vryburg Private Hospital and was immediately put on oxygen; and a decision was taken this morning to transfer him to a medical facility in Klerksdorp.
“He was transported from Vryburg to Klerksdorp in an ambulance and upon arrival in Klerksdorp, he suffered a cardiac arrest and despite all the efforts by the medical personnel, he succumbed and lost his life,” Mokgoro said.
The number of South Africans who have tested positive for COVID-19 has gone past the 200 000 mark. According to the latest statistics, the number of those infected stands at 205 721 and the number of those who have died is 3310. A total of 1 864 111 tests have been conducted and 97 848 people have recovered.