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More than 50 kids, nearly 200 teachers have contracted Covid-19 in Gauteng

Gauteng premier David Makhura delivered his weekly Covid-19 update on Thursday.
Gauteng premier David Makhura delivered his weekly Covid-19 update on Thursday.
Image: GCIS via Flickr

As of Tuesday, the number of pupils across Gauteng who have contracted Covid-19 is 58, while 188 educators have contracted the virus.

The majority of schools in the province have reopened, but some could not because of infrastructural challenges. Others had to close due to positive cases and community disruptions linked to contracts for PPE and infrastructure, including communities resisting deployment of brigades from other communities.

This was announced during the weekly statistics release by premier David Makhura on behalf of the Gauteng Covid-19 command council on Thursday.

“Confirmed cases from Wednesday sits at 26,126, with 6,627 recoveries and 147 deaths,” he said.

“A total of 1,045 people are hospitalised in the public and private facilities - 67 of whom are ventilated, 248 on oxygen.

“Our clinicians emphasise that early interventions are important (oxygenation, fluid supportive treatment, prone position & blood thinning) could be the reason behind fewer complications and low mortality.”

Out of a total of 24,905 contacts traced, 16,527 people have completed the 14-day monitoring period with no symptoms reported and therefore they are de-isolated.

Johannesburg is the provincial epicentre with 12,892 confirmed cases, followed by Ekurhuleni on 5,377 and 4,059 in the Tshwane district. The West Rand has 1,758 cases and Sedibeng has 861 (1,209 cases are unallocated).

At the beginning of June, grade 7 and 12 pupils returned to school under cautious conditions and strict regulations.

“Out of 172,113 public servants in Gauteng, 924 have tested positive since March. This includes public health workers and educators. We are deeply saddened by the recent loss of three of our health workers. We send our heartfelt condolences to their families and fellow colleagues,” said Makhura.

About 95% of the 2,161 public ordinary schools have reopened, while 116 are closed mainly as they do not have pupils returning in phase 1.

“Of these still closed, only four have urgent infrastructure-related challenges being addressed,” he said.

Almost all independent schools have reopened, 659 have opened and 24 are closed.

Makhura added that the health department is closely monitoring cases at both the departmentally run mental health facilities and at contracted facilities. The Gauteng health department was also finalising the appointment of mental review boards in all five districts.

On Wednesday, Gauteng health authorities said they are monitoring cases at mental health facilities across the province where 168 staff and patients have tested positive. The affected institutions are run by the provincial health department and also contracted facilities. Two patients with underlying illnesses have died in the past nine days.  

Provincial health spokesperson Kwara Kekana said the department had four specialised mental health facilities: Weskoppies, Sterkfontein, Tara H Moross Psychiatric Hospital and Cullinan Care and Rehabilitation Centre.

Kekana said the department has also contracted Life Esidimeni health-care centres and the Clinix Health Group, which included the Waverley and Baneng care centres and Solomon Stix Morewa Hospital.

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