Parents threaten legal action after 19 pupils are placed under quarantine at guest house
Cape Town – Parents of 19 Grey College Secondary pupils who have been placed under quarantine after a case of Covid-19 was discovered have threatened to interdict the Health, Basic Education and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs ministers.
A lawyer's letter was sent to the ministers last night by civil society group AfriForum, which is representing the parents, insisting that the parents of the prestigious Bloemfontein school pupils who prefer they self-isolate at home, immediately be placed in the care of their parents, Netwerk24 reported.
The pupils are currently in quarantine at a guest house in Bloemfontein and the ministers have to respond to the letter by today. The pupils were allegedly informed they would be "state property for 14 days".
Last week, the North Gauteng High Court ordered that South Africans who test positive for Covid-19 cannot be forced to quarantine at a state facility if they can self-isolate at home.
The order follows an urgent application from AfriForum, which argued that the regulations were "unconstitutional, illegal and irrational".
AfriForum argued that these regulations would have given the state the power to force people into quarantine without their permission – even under circumstances where the person may be able to effectively self-isolate.
According to Grey College spokesperson Marzaan Venter, the matric pupil who tested positive, who lives in Pietermaritzburg and is in a hostel, showed symptoms of the virus, including a cough and headache, on Tuesday morning before he was taken to an isolation room.
“Thanks to the efficient response by hostel staff and the medical team at the school, he was immediately taken to an isolation room. A family member came earlier on to pick him up.
"He then went for the Covid-19 test and it was confirmed that he tested positive,” she said.
All staff and pupils at the hostel have been put in quarantine since the incident occurred.IOL