Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane has revealed that a truck carrying Covid-19 samples for the National Health Laboratory Services (NHLS) was hijacked in Port Elizabeth on Monday afternoon .
Mabuyane said in a media briefing on Tuesday: “Yesterday we received reports that a courier vehicle transporting #Covid19 specimens for the NHLs was hijacked in Port Elizabeth and criminals who did this, took a white container with the specimens.
“We condemn this act of criminality, which puts the lives of people at risk.”
He called on anyone who sees a white cooler box to immediately report it to the police.
Mabuyane further used his briefing to assure South Africans that government was fighting corruption in the province.
“We will continue to fight corruption and maladministration in our system. As we continue to deal with corruption wherever it shows its ugly head, we are following up on all alleged incidents of corruption,” he said.
Earlier this month, a courier company that lost Covid-19 samples in the Eastern Cape was fired for negligence and risking human life, the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) said in a statement.
“The loss of the specimens amounts to a violation of the patient’s rights to protection of their medical records, privacy and confidentiality and the right to dignity. It potentially places the lives of those patients and their families at risk as well as those members of the public that may have come into contact with any positive specimens,” NHLS chief executive Dr Kamy Chetty said in a statement.