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Covid-19 outbreak of 204 cases hits Eastern Cape school

There are 204 Covid-19 cases in the school
There are 204 Covid-19 cases in the school
Image: SAMORN TARAPAN/123rf.com

There are 204 pupils and hostel assistants who have tested positive for Covid-19 at Makaula Senior Secondary School in KwaBhaca, the Eastern Cape. 

As a result, the department of health has deployed a team of doctors and tracers to the school.

Eastern Cape health spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said this was so that those who came into contact with the 204 people who have tested positive can be traced, screened and tested to stop the spread of the virus.

"The department is also looking into possibly converting the hostel into an isolation facility as another measure of preventing the further spread of the coronavirus," Kupelo said.

"A team of clinicians have been sent to the school to ascertain if the hostel meets the department's minimum standards for quarantine and isolation facilities, which include, but not limited to lighting, well-ventilated rooms and sanitation services."

Kupelo said those who tested positive were in isolation within the Alfred Nzo district municipal area.

"Initially 24 learners tested positive last week with 180 others, which include hostel assistants, testing positive this week," he said.

"We would like to call on everyone to continue adhering to the lockdown regulations by practising good personal hygiene by washing their hands with soap and water or sanitiser regularly, keeping at least a 1.2-metre distance between them and other people, wearing a mask at all times when out in public and if possible, stay at home." 

The department of basic education announced it was working together with the department of health to support pupils, educators and parents affected by  the coronavirus in the Eastern Cape

Minister of basic education Angie Motshekga said the cases being reported in schools show that many people already had the virus but they didn’t know it until they were screened and identified.

“We will continue to work hard in schools to make sure that we protect our learners, teachers and employees within schools. It is important to work together to ensure that we beat the virus,” she said.

"The department is working hard to make sure that all schools are Covid-19 compliant before it can receive learners.

“What is also important is to ensure that even during schools hours and beyond we stick to the basic requirements of wearing the mask, sanitise, wash hands and keep physical distancing,” Motshekga said.

She urged members of the community to desist from visiting schools as that also increased the risk for more infections.

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