The South African Jewish Board of Education has confirmed that a parent at the King David Linksfield Primary School was the latest coronavirus patient from Gauteng.
The South African Jewish Board of Education has confirmed that a parent at the King David Linksfield Primary School was the latest coronavirus patient from Gauteng.

No school for children of Gauteng coronavirus patient

By Sihle Mlambo Time of article published Mar 12, 2020

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Johannesburg - The South African Jewish Board of Education has confirmed that a parent at the King David Linksfield Primary School was the latest coronavirus patient from Gauteng. 

His children will now miss school for a fortnight as they are placed under quarantine at home as a precaution. 

Earlier on Thursday, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize confirmed four new cases of the Covid-19 virus in the Free State, Mpumalanga, Gauteng and KZN.

Among them, was the 43-year-old Joburg man who had travelled to New York via Dubai and returned to South Africa on March 8. He tested positive for the virus on Thursday.  

Rabbi C Kacev, a general director of the SA Jewish Board of Education, said the school would remain open as the parent had "acted responsibly" and placed himself in self-quarantine. His children have not been to school since he returned from abroad. 

“We have had our first case of a parent diagnosed with Covid-19 in the (King David) Linksfield Primary School. Having travelled from the United States via Dubai to South Africa, he arrived feeling slightly ill. 

“This parent acted responsibly, placed himself in immediate quarantine from his family and friends and got tested. Subsequent to that he kept his children out of school as a precaution and they will also remain at home for 14 days,” said Kacev.

However, the release of the statement by the school has the neighbouring Linksfield Primary School seeing red as the Rabbi referred to the wrong school in his press statement. Linksfield Primary School is a public school which is situated in the same vicinity as the King David Linksfield Primary School, a private Jewish school.

“We are a government school, they are a private school. The Rabbi needs to correct that statement because it is causing severe panic amongst our parent community,” said a secretary at Linksfield Primary School on Thursday. 

Kacev said parents now had to inform the school if they had travelled abroad to countries where localised transmission had taken place, they had to stay away from the school premises for a period of at least 14 days under self-quarantine. 

“Please let the school principal know about your travels. There are a number of articles that point out the anomaly that the virus leaves young children virtually untouched but that said, children may still be carriers of Covid-19 while still being asymptomatic.

“We are aware that the information being shared may cause concern or even panic, but this is not our intention. We need to be transparent with the parent body but also need to respond with the appropriate level of calm, such that children are not filled with anxiety,” said Kacev. 

“Furthermore, it is imperative that community members continue to respect one another, assist each other and support those families who are impacted. A loss of perspective can do far more damage in the long run to our community,” he said.

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