WINNIPEG — Two firefighters from South Africa who arrived in Manitoba on Wednesday to help battle wildfires have tested positive for COVID-19.
A provincial spokesperson told CTV News the group of firefighters were tested prior to their departure and again on arrival. Two members tested positive for COVID-19 and are currently in self-isolation along with any close contacts. The spokesperson didn’t specify how many people in total were self-isolating.
All other members of the group have tested negative as of Friday afternoon.
The group of more than 100 South African firefighters are joining Manitoba firefighters to get the wildfires under control. However, the spokesperson said the South African crews will work independently, with supervision from the province.
The province said the Manitoba Wildfire Service is working closely with the Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization and public health officials to ensure all necessary COVID-19 protocols are followed, and regular rapid testing will occur throughout the duration of the South African firefighters’ time in Manitoba.
“The province continues to express its gratitude for the support offered by the South African firefighters during this unprecedented wildfire season,” the province’s statement concluded.
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