#CoronavirusFS: Mangaung police station temporarily closed

Police sign. Photo: SAPS Twitter
A second Bloemfontein police station has been closed down temporarily, in two weeks, after an employee reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.

OFM News reports that the National police spokesperson, Vishnu Naidoo, tells OFM News, the Mangaung police station located in Phahameng township in Bloemfontein will now be decontaminated before it can be reopened.

“The community Service Centre will now be operating from the Lesley Monnanyane Hall which is located just behind the Home Affairs offices in Rockland township” confirms Naidoo. Unlike the Batho police station which shut down in mid May, this closure is likely to inconvenience residents in the area  without vehicles, as they have to travel quite the distance to access the community service centre in Rocklands.

In contrast Batho’s temporary home was located across the road from the closed station. Naidoo says the station’s phone lines will not be operating during this closure and the community will be alerted when the situation changes.

This comes amidst mounting concerns over the accuracy of test results in the Free State, after the Batho police station employee who reportedly tested positive for the virus informed Netwerk24 that her test results were accidentally swapped with those of a Dewetsdorp resident.

The 50 year old clerk told the media outlet that she was due for an operation when she was tested for the virus. Police spokesperson Naidoo has declined to confirm whether or not the Batho police station was closed off based on incorrect results, saying “I cannot confirm if a member has tested positive or negative. That is the prerogative of the member to do so”.

The Free State now has 168 active cases of the Coronavirus with the bulk of these in Mangaung. However the Free State Health Department is showing signs of Xhariep District becoming a provincial hotspot with 11 new cases. “The teams are already deployed there to do contact tracing and stop the veld fires” reports the department.