One Precious Garments factory employee has tested positive for Coronavirus (Covid-19), the Ministry of Labour and Employment has said.

Discovered last Wednesday, the infection has raised concerns on the safety of workers in the textile industry. The industry employs about 50 000 people, who often work in congested spaces.

‘Mamolise Falatsa, the public relations officer at the Ministry of Labour and Employment, said they have since instructed the factory to tighten its safety precautions including fumigating the work area and introducing smaller shifts to minimise the spread of the virus.

She said other employees who have come into contact with the patient have also been isolated and tested for Covid-19. They are now awaiting their results.

“The Ministry of Labour and Employment is aware of a worker who tested positive for Covid-19 at Precious Garments following its inspection of the factory,” Ms Falatsa said.

“With the assistance of the Ministry of Health, the Ministry conducted contact tracing to determine other workers who may have been in contact with the Covid-19 patient. The identified contacts were then isolated and tested.

“The ministry has also instructed the firm to fumigate the factory surfaces to minimise the spread of the virus to other workers. We have impressed upon the management to introduce small working shifts to reduce the number of workers who are at the premises at any given time. This advice has been given to the factory ahead of the new Covid-19 regulations which now make it mandatory to implement such shifts.”