Tshwane screening and testing continues in Atteridgeville as it is one of the Covid-19 hot spots. Picture: Oupa Mokoena African News Agency(ANA)
Tshwane screening and testing continues in Atteridgeville as it is one of the Covid-19 hot spots. Picture: Oupa Mokoena African News Agency(ANA)

Opening of schools could drive Covid-19 numbers up - Lovey Pule

By Liam Ngobeni Time of article published Feb 15, 2021

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Pretoria - The City of Tshwane may see a slight increase in Covid-19 cases this week due to the movement of people, as schools reopen for the academic year.

Speaking to Pretoria News during the citywide screening and testing campaign targeting all regions on Friday, Deputy Director of Communicable Diseases, Dr Lovey Pule, said with the reopening leading to more movement, numbers could spike.

He said there was a team from the school health services consisting of nurses, that would be working closely with schools which would emerge as super spreaders. They would work with outreach programmes in various communities.

“With schools opening and learners gathering in their numbers, there is a possibility that one infection could prove too many, so we will be monitoring this to make sure the effects are reduced.”

He said the week would also mark the second week of alcohol being unbanned, and while there was no increase in Covid cases yet, there was a significant spike in trauma cases, which was concerning. The City therefore called for better behaviour among those who consume alcohol, who were asked to adhere (to regulations) and have fun responsibly.

“We have to be on the lookout even more now, to see since the opening for alcohol outlets whether we have more cases or not. We will continue to monitor cases on a daily basis.”

In terms of the numbers, there is still a downward trend in numbers, according to Pule.

“The numbers are currently at around 150-180, the highest was 241, and in terms of communities responding to screening and testing we are doing well. The positivity rate has gone down, from a time when during tests we got high numbers up to 20 to 30%. Now it’s much less, so at around 55 to 75 tests done only around seven or 8% test positive and it’s good.”

He said they would still be targeting areas that were still recording positive results such as Soshanguve, Akasia, Mabopane and “even areas with less cases to ensure that there are no isolated cases that could spread, as we may have a third wave even before winter.”

Pretoria News

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