Welkom school shut down for the week as 12 pupils test positive for Covid, one dead

By Sihle Mlambo Time of article published May 26, 2021

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Johannesburg - A Welkom school has been forced to shut down for the week after 12 pupils tested positive for the Coronavirus, while another died due to complications linked to the virus.

Taking to social media on Wednesday, Free State Education MEC Tate Makgoe said the Lephola Secondary School in Thabong, Welkom, would be closed until Monday after the outbreak of the virus detected at the school.

“Lephola SS in Thabong, Welkom, will be closed from today and will reopen on Monday after 8 learners have tested positive for the virus and 8 more are awaiting the results. One learner has also succumbed to the Covid-19 related complications,” Makgoe tweeted on Wednesday.


The number of pupils from the school who have tested positive for the Coronavirus have since risen to 12, as of Wednesday morning, said Free State Education spokesperson Howard Ndaba.

“The number of learners who have tested positive for the Coronavirus at the school has now risen to 12, with the one confirmed fatality from yesterday.

“The Grade 12 learner who succumbed received his results that he had tested positive on Monday and he succumbed while at home around 12pm yesterday,” said Ndaba.

Ndaba said the Grade 12 class of the deceased – which has 24 pupils – would be tested for the virus. He said 14 out of 24 pupils had been tested at this stage, while 10 were expected to be tested on Wednesday.

From the 14 who had been tested, 12 had been confirmed positive, while two were awaiting their results.

“What we can confirm is that the deceased learner tested last Wednesday. He received his positive results on Monday.

“Yesterday, his father received a call from home that there was a complication and he later found out he had succumbed to the virus,” he said.

Meanwhile, as of Tuesday night, the national Department of Health said there had been 97 908 confirmed Coronavirus cases in the Free State province, along with 4 247 deaths and there were currently 6 816 active cases in the province.

In the past seven days, the Free State province has a case incidence rate of 101.2 per 100 000 people, the second highest in the country, with the Northern Cape - with 226.9/100 000, being the highest in the country.

Hospitalisations in the past seven days had increased 10.8%.

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