Gautrain confirmed on Tuesday that an executive who travelled from France — and interacted with staff at the Bombela Operating Company offices in Midrand as well as Gautrain stations — had tested positive for Covid-19.
“We … want to use the opportunity to advise that on Sunday afternoon [March 15] the Bombela Operating Company (BOC) was informed that a business unit director who visited the BOC offices in Midrand between 12 and 14 March has subsequently tested positive for Covid-19,” Gautrain management said in a statement on Tuesday.
“During his visit, he also visited the Gautrain Park and Sandton stations. He travelled to SA from France and is currently in self-isolation.”
The Bombela Operating Company runs the Gautrain.
The man had interacted with staff.
The company said as a precautionary measure all of those who had been in close contact with him had been traced and advised to remain in self-isolation.
Within hours of receiving the news, the stations that he had visited were chemically decontaminated.
“On Sunday night [March 15] the BOC office, Sandton and Park stations were chemically decontaminated. The department of health and the National Institute of Communicable Diseases have been notified and follow ups with persons who were in contact with the foreign national are ongoing,” the company said.
As talks continue with employees and union representatives about health safety, Gautrain management said it had moved to ensure that workers and employees who found themselves at risk of exposure would be advised to self-isolate, without losing any benefits. Their employers would cover testing costs.
Gautrain said it was also taking measures to ensure the safety of passengers.
Hand sanitisers are available at all stations. Handrails, doors and toilets at stations are being cleaned regularly. While trains and buses were cleaned throughout the day, further cleaning was done on trains at night.
Gautrain said the trains and buses were being treated with disinfectant.
“We support President Ramaphosa’s instruction to ensure social distancing and to avoid non-essential domestic travel, particularly by air, rail, taxis and bus. Where possible, we encourage you to work from home,” the train service said.