South African mining sector concerned about looming COVID-19 third wave

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JOHANNESBURG, March 30 (Xinhua) — The mining sector of South Africa on Tuesday expressed concern over the possibility of high COVID-19 infection during the Easter holidays leading to the third wave of the pandemic.

The Minerals Council South Africa said the Easter and the school holidays could see a lot of people traveling, thereby increasing the COVID-19 infection.

“The Minerals Council is conscious that a significant post-Easter spike in infections, with subsequent increases in hospitalizations and deaths would have serious negative consequences for the industry, for the economy, and for all South Africans,” said the Minerals Council spokesperson Charmane Russell. “With that in mind, we call on employees and communities to exercise extreme caution over the long weekend, to avoid travel wherever possible, and to behave responsibly if travel is unavoidable.”

Russell said the mining sector has come up with a plan to mitigate against the third wave, including screening employees who come back from international travel, Easter break and funerals.

“That communication with employees (including contractors) and communities about measures to avoid or mitigate a third wave should be intensified with immediate effect,” she said.

This comes at a time when the COVID-19 national command council met Tuesday to come up with measures to mitigate against spreading COVID-19 during the Easter holidays. The government and medical specialists have cautioned that Easter holidays could be high spreader in religious gatherings and local and international travels. Enditem

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