Newcastle Mayor, Dr Ntuthuko Mahlaba has tested positive for Covid-19 and subsequently put himself in self-isolation.

This was revealed in a press statement issued by Head of Communications, Mlungisi Khumalo this morning (July 15).

Dr Mahlaba was tested for the virus after coming into contact with another person, who had tested positive for the coronavirus.

As both a precaution and to limit the risk of exposure to others, Dr Mahlaba has gone into self-isolation at home and will monitor his symptoms. However, he has committed to executing his duties virtually and providing advice on dealing with Covid-19.

“He is currently in good health and has not displayed any symptoms yet.”

Dr Mahlaba commented he was coping well and was in good spirits, and encouraged everyone who he’d been in close contact with to be tested for the virus, especially members of his staff complement.

“I urge anyone who displays symptoms of the virus to immediately test to prevent transmission. I’ll remain in isolation for the next 14 days, whilst carrying out my mayoral duties.”

Newcastle Municipality has also confirmed that to date, five municipal employees have been diagnosed with Covid-19. They are all in isolation, and four municipal units have been closed until disinfection and decontamination can be done. Employees who have been in contact with these five employees are also self-isolating and will be tested for the virus.

Dr Mahlaba further appealed to residents to unite now more than ever, to practice social distancing and to show empathy to those diagnosed with Covid-19, even as the municipality grapples with an increased number of infections.

“Residents of Newcastle must be in solidarity with those who have lost loved ones due to this global pandemic. We should be cognizant of the fact that this virus attacks everyone, and that none are immune to it.”

The following municipal areas will remain temporarily closed due to positive Covid-19 cases:

    • Newcastle Library
    • Charlestown Library
    • Town Planning Unit (Tower Block Building)
    • Supply Chain Management unit (Tower Block Building)

“Despite this unfortunate development, the municipality assures the public that service delivery will continue unhindered. Municipal frontline staffers will remain on duty, whilst taking the precautionary safety measures for themselves and others.”

In conclusion, the municipality wished Dr Mahlaba a speedy recovery and sent well wishes to all those affected by Covid-19.