40 Jumbo Employees Escape covid-19 Scare

  • Store closed last week after a visit by a Siviya COVID-19 contact
  • All staff members tested negative


FRANCISTOWN: Jumbo Cash and Carry in Francistown resumed operations on Monday morning after all 40 employees tested negative for the Coronavirus after a COVID-19 scare.

The store was instantly closed last week after a person believed to have come in contact with a COVID-19 positive person visited the store. The person is believed to have been the primary contact of the Siviya COVID-19 case.

Speaking to The Botswana Gazette in an interview, a staff member who preferred anonymity for fear of reprisal indicated that they were ordered for testing last week. According to the source, they learnt from their bosses that the Siviya contact visited the store, which placed them at risk of contracting the virus.

“We were then tested, and ordered to go for self-isolation while the store was being disinfected.

After awaiting the results for about four days, we were all cleared today,” said the source. The COVID-19 patient from Siviya has been admitted at Sir Ketumile Masire hospital where he is reportedly recovering.

Professor Mosepele Mosepele, Deputy Coordinator of the COVID-19 Task Force, said contact tracing was bearing fruits and should be intensified through target testing. Professor Mosepele said a total of 24 contacts of the COVID-19 Siviya patient have tested negative for Coronavirus.

Though she did not want to be drawn into discussing the issue, Francistown District Health Management Team (DHMT) Coordinator Bayengemali Rose Munyere only confirmed that a contact was traced to Jumbo and eventually 40 staff members were tested. She immediately referred further inquiries to Ministry of Health and Wellness (MoHW) Spokesperson Doreen Motshegwa who said the COVID-19 Task Force is better placed to share the information.

Efforts to get a comment from COVID-19 Task Force Coordinators Dr Kereng Masupu and his Deputy Mosepele were futile as they did not respond to our questionnaire as initially promised.