Old Mutual confirms coronavirus case


The employee will be placed in quarantine for 21 days

Financial services giant has confirmed that one of its employees has tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) after returning from abroad. This comes days after Old Mutual released a statement about all the precautions it will be taken in lieu of the outbreak.

The company would not disclose where in South Africa the person is located but said the employee was told not to return to the office for another 21 days, in line with its international travel policy. In a statement, the financial institution said the staff member was not in contact with any Old Mutual clients or employees at his workplace.

"Old Mutual followed the protocols prescribed by the SA Government and they tracked all the individuals who met with the Old Mutual employee outside of the workplace to arrange their self-quarantine. The employee is currently undergoing the necessary medical treatment,” reads the latest statement. 

On Wednesday, Old Mutual explained that it would only be permitting business-critical international travel (including to and from other African countries), because “as a responsible business and one of the largest employers on the continent, we take the wellbeing of our employees, customers and business partners very seriously“. 

Old Mutual has also told employees to make greater use of alternatives such as video conferencing to avoid travel. “Furthermore, across our premises, there are additional hand sanitisers and regular sterilisation of high-touch areas as well as awareness campaigns in line with current medical advice.”

In their main buildings, the company has introduced travel screening, asking visitors to complete travel declarations to identify those who have flown from a high-risk region or country in the past 14 days. 

“If any of your employees want to visit Old Mutual after such a recent stay in a high-risk country, we require them to wait 21 days (the self-quarantine period) before entering any of our buildings,” reads Wednesday’s statement, adding that people visiting their offices from other countries would have to furnish a medical certificate confirming that they are asymptomatic before visiting Old Mutual offices. 

“We can assist with referring them to medical practitioners for this, if necessary. Any of your staff members who are based at Old Mutual premises are required to follow the same guidelines we have issued to our own staff. I trust you understand that we act out of an abundance of caution and expect you to have similar measures in place in your own organisation.”

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