Team to try contain cluster outbreaks of Covid-19 at several institutions - Blade Nzimande
Pretoria - The Department of Higher Education and Training’s health and wellness agency has assembled a multidisciplinary investigation team to try and contain cluster outbreaks of Covid-19 that have broken out in several institutions across the country.
This was revealed by Education Minister Blade Nzimande during a briefing of the sector’s response to mitigating the pandemic’s impact at institutions towards the end of the year.
Nzimande said there had been a few “cluster outbreaks” that had been experienced at several institutions over the last few weeks especially those in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
He said Higher Health which was the department’s agency in supporting its response to Covid-19 across the Post Schooling Education and Training system since lockdown level five, had set up the team to contain and manage the recent outbreaks.
He said the team consisted of members from the World Health Organisation, the National Health Department, and the National Health Laboratory Services.
The team has according to Nzimande already been at work with the early identification of infected students and staff, identifying their contacts, and appropriately assisting them with early isolation and quarantine.
This had ensured no cases in the last week, even though they still anticipated more cluster outbreaks.
Additionally, he said they had also negotiated with laboratory services to reduce the confirmation time for results, with over 600 students and staff being tested and those positive having been admitted to quarantine and health facilities.
“Personally I am observing that many people have forgotten about the rules, it looks like we are now back to ordinarily shaking hands. What’s the point of saying clean your hands regularly and use your elbow to greet each other.”
“It’s important we remind ourselves not to greet using our hands and to maintain social distancing, and I appeal to students and staff to stick to preventative measures.”