139 teachers, 37 pupils in KZN test positive for coronavirus
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Durban - More than 100 teachers and 37 pupils in KwaZulu-Natal have been infected with Covid-19. This is according to KZN premier, Sihle Zikalala.
Speaking during a briefing on Sunday, Zikalala said 139 teachers had tested positive for the coronavirus. He said Umgungundlovu District had the highest number of infected teachers.
Zikalala also noted that there was no need to close schools for 14 days each time there was a positive case reported at a school.
"Ordinarily, it should take the Department of Education no more than three days to decontaminate an affected school and thereafter allow teaching and learning to continue," the premier said.
He said since the re-opening of school earlier this month, there has been an increase in the number of positive cases.
"Schools are a reflection of communities where they operate. As we see numbers of confirmed positive cases increase everyday across the country, we also expect to see some increase in reported positive cases in schools," he said.
He said what remained critical, is how the situation would be managed so that the risk of further spread is minimised.
"Obviously, no measures can replace strict adherence to health protocols and regulations. Both the departments of Health and Education have handled the cases extremely well."
"We are encouraging people to allow the Department of Health to take a lead in managing Covid-19 cases, even in schools. The health department will assess the situation in every school that has a positive case. This will include giving advice whether everyone need to be tested or testing will be limited to primary or close contacts," Zikalala said.
He emphasised that the safety of pupils, teachers and support staff remained a priority.
According to the KZN Department of Health, there are more than 8400 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the province.
Of those, at least 4717 are active cases while 3602 people have recovered. More than 100 people have died from Covid-19-related illnesses.