Mines record six Covid-19 deaths, 1,796 cases

Johannesburg – The mining industry has recorded 1,796 cases of Covid-19 and six deaths, said the Minerals Council on Thursday as mines ramp up after an extended shutdown.

The mining sector has conducted 15,994 Covid-19 tests so far, the industry told media.

The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases among mineworkers is around 1.6% of South Africa’s current total of 111,796 cases.

South Africa has confirmed 2,205 deaths from Covid-19, according to the latest health ministry update on Wednesday.

This month the minerals ministry rejected what it called a “narrative” in which mines were seen as a growing Covid-19 epicentre, saying mining companies’ screening and testing procedures were working.

“Quite a few mining companies have actually taken the initiative to procure their own testing capacity,” said Tebello Chabana, senior executive of public affairs at the Minerals Council, noting that the public sector has seen testing backlogs.

South Africa is the world’s biggest producer of platinum and a leading producer of gold.

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