DCS partners with the Health Department to achieve herd immunity amongst officials

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The Department of Correctional Services (DCS), embarked on a COVID-19 testing and vaccination drive targeting officials and other occupants of the Poyntons building on 09 December 2021. Officials from Head Office, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West (LMN) and Gauteng regional offices, as well as Kgoši Mampuru II Management Area, heeded the call to come out and test and vaccinate against COVID-19 as part of the week-long Vooma drive. For the past few days, Gauteng province has been experiencing an exponential increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, driven by the Omicron variant.

Chief Deputy Commissioner (CDC): Human Resources, Cynthia Ramulifho, explained that the Department saw a need to respond proactively and intensify the Vooma campaign among officials. “As we continue to support the Vooma rollout programme, it is important that we encourage our officials to be vaccinated and to test for COVID-19. We also encourage those who have not been vaccinated to make the necessary arrangements to receive their jab,” she said.

Ramulifho said the more officials are vaccinated, the less the risk of them experiencing severe symptoms, hospitalisation and dying as a result of COVID-19.

“We would want to ensure that we are complying and minimise the high infection rate that has been reported during the past week at Head Office, which has resulted in many of our officials being on quarantine. We hope that this campaign will contribute in Head Office and the Department reaching herd immunity,” said Ramulifho.

Acting Director: Employee Wellness, Sandile Mthembu, commended the high turnout of the officials. “We are highly pleased with the turnout of our officials and cleaners. The numbers are very good and continue to increase as we proceed with testing and vaccination. This is proof that the partnership we have with the Health Department is bearing fruits,’’ he said.

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Mthembu says DCS is intensifying its partnership with the Department of Health to mitigate against the potential impact of the 4th wave gripping the country, but also to reinforce the message to officials about the importance of adhering to non-pharmaceutical procedures as we head into the festive season.

Among officials who headed the call and got tested was Mr Lucas Mgidi, from the LMN regional office. Despite having received his jab long time ago, Mgidi said he has been experiencing unusual symptoms. “I wanted to make sure that I don’t have the virus and in the unfortunate event that I happen to be positive, I can isolate to protect my co-workers and everyone around me,” said Mgidi.

Another official who grabbed the opportunity for free testing was Therol Serumule from the LMN region. “I have been in contact with numerous people who tested positive for the past few weeks, and I have been experiencing body pains. That is why I felt the need to come and test in order to know where I stand so I can be able to protect those close to me,’’ he said. Serumule applauded DCS for bringing the service to the workplace.

Ms Jeanette Mntambo, who is working as an Assistant Director: Bookkeeping and Exchequer Control office at Head Office used the opportunity to get her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. ‘’I was reluctant before, but now I took a decision to do the right thing for my colleagues, family and friends. I was a bit nervous while getting vaccinated but it only lasted for a short period. I was dizzy for brief moment, but I am feeling good and ready to continue with work,’’ alluded Mntambo.

 

 

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