204 pupils, hostel staff test positive for Covid-19 at Eastern Cape school
Cape Town – The Eastern Cape Education Department has confirmed 204 persons at a school in the province tested positive for Covid-19.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the department said 204 pupils and hostel assistants at Makaula Senior Secondary School in KwaBhaca tested positive and confirmed that doctors and tracers have been deployed to the school.
The Department of Basic Education announced the reopening of schools across the country from June 8, and pupils in grades 12 and 7 were the first to return to school.
Currently, the Eastern Cape had the third highest number of Covid-19 cases in South Africa yesterday at 16 895 cases after Gauteng, which had the second highest number of infections at 22 341. The Western Cape, deemed the country’s epicentre of Covid-19, had 52 554 infections.
According to provincial health spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo, the department is also looking at possibly converting the hostel into an isolation facility.
Clinicians have been sent to assess the school’s hostel to ascertain whether the facility meets the minimum standards of the department for quarantine and isolation facilities, including factors such as lighting, ventilated rooms and sanitary facilities.
Kupelo said last week 180 people tested positive for Covid-19.
“Those that have tested positive are 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,” Kupelo said.
He said all provincial departments continue to call on residents to adhere to lockdown regulations and continue to practise good hygiene and physical distancing, wear masks in public and, if possible, to stay at home.