Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Pretoria: The Surgeon General of the South African National Defence Force says the SANDF has recorded its first four positive cases of the COVID-19.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Surgeon General said three of the cases were in the Western Cape, while the fourth was recorded in Gauteng.

“None of these members are uniformed members nor members deployed in support of the SAPS. It is imperative to note that the military community is bigger than the South African National Defence Force (SANDF),” read the statement.

The military community is inclusive of dependants of the serving, retired soldiers and others eligible for care by the South African Military Health Service (SAMHS). All COVID-19 cases are treated and managed as per COVID-19 prescribed protocol.

Frontline workers, among them emergency medical teams, nurses, doctors, porters and soldiers patrolling the townships, have been issued with Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), the Surgeon General said.

“Other preventative measures include thermal screening, hand sanitising and wearing of surgical masks by Department of Defence personnel. In addition, the SA Military Health Service continues with COVID-19 awareness campaign by educating DOD members on correct use of the surgical masks, maintaining good basic hygiene principles and social distancing,” said the SANDF in the statement.

The SANDF said it has also identified quarantine and isolation facilities for the military community in preparation for the envisaged overflow in military hospitals and sickbays.

These facilities are Department of Defence establishments with accommodation capacity in all provinces.