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Cape Town teacher tests positive for Covid-19 a week before schools reopen



Published May 25, 2020


Cape Town - A week before the reopening of schools in South Africa for some grades, the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has confirmed a schoolteacher tested positive for Covid-19 in Delft. 

Last Tuesday, Department of Basic Education (DBE) Minister Angie Motshekga said all teachers in public schools had to return to work on Monday, May 25, in preparation for the return of Grade 7 and 12 pupils on June 1.

Motshekga said those teaching other grades were needed at schools in an attempt to split classes into smaller groups so that physical distancing protocols may be maintained. 

But as they reported for duty, it was determined a teacher from The Hague Primary School in Delft had tested positive for Covid-19 (coronavirus). 

Spokesperson for the Western Cape Education MEC, Kerry Mauchline said: “We have received a report of a positive Covid-19 case at The Hague Primary. 

“Whenever an employee tests positive or is exposed to someone testing positive, the necessary protocols are followed as prescribed by the Department of Health and occupational health and safety measures. The school will be sanitised accordingly.

“Those who have been in close contact, for example, a handshake or a hug, with a confirmed positive case are required to self-isolate for 14 days from their last contact with the individual,” Mauchline said.

Wilma Adams, a teacher from The Settlers High School in Bellville, said her nervousness about returning to school has subsided because she believes the school has been transparent in liaising with staff. 

“I’m fairly confident about coming back to school today. The school has kept us well informed about the measures they are taking and there’s been constant feedback from the senior managers of the school. 

“I was a little anxious at first, but I must say with the feedback, we are confident and we are prepared,” Adams said. 

But her colleague Melikhaya Nongauza said although he loves the school, he is scared not only for himself, but also for his colleagues and the pupils, who might contract Covid-19. 

The Western Cape has been deemed the epicentre of the coronavirus in South Africa, with the Health Department recording 14 740 cases, with 6 525 recoveries and 281 deaths, accounting for 65.3% of the country's infections as of May 24. 

The country currently has 22 583 cases of Covid-19, with 11 100 recoveries and 429 deaths.

African News Agency (ANA)

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