The National Department of Health and the Eastern Cape premier’s office have expressed outrage at Covid-19 specimens having been discarded on the N2, near Mdantsane. The Department of Health has called the dumping of samples “dangerous”, and “criminal”.
News24 reports that 88 samples have been retrieved, out of hundreds that were discovered by a jogger on Monday.
Eastern Cape Department of Heath Superintendent-General, Dr Thobile Mbengashe, said, “The specimens………are what we call bio-hazard, meaning they are capable of spreading infection to those who came into contact with them.” He said the incident undermined the government’s programme to fight the spread of the coronavirus.
Investigations into the abandonment of the samples have been launched by the health department and the National Health Laboratory Services.
Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane has placed the blame on the courier company which had travelled from Komani to collect samples in King William’s Town and East London for testing in Port Elizabeth. He called the dumping of the samples ‘intentional’. He said that damaged samples would be discarded, and that the persons whose specimens they were would be contacted to retest. Names of those tested could be seen on the samples.
Some people posted pictures of the samples on social media, with the names, and identity numbers, clearly visible.
Umm Muhammed Umar