AS Covid-19 infections continue to rise in the city and province, Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku joined the night shift team at Soshanguve Community Health Centre on Friday night.     Facebook
AS Covid-19 infections continue to rise in the city and province, Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku joined the night shift team at Soshanguve Community Health Centre on Friday night. Facebook

Tshwane Covid-19 cases surging

By Rapula Moatshe Time of article published Jun 29, 2020

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Pretoria - Covid-19 is rapidly wreaking havoc in the city, forcing schools and other public facilities to close down, as the number of confirmed infections continues to mount.

By yesterday, the region that includes Atteridgeville, Laudium, Pretoria CBD, Hercules, Danville, Saulsville, Lotus Gardens and Pretoria West had the highest infections in the city with 1829 cases and 355 recoveries.

It was followed by Lyttelton, Eldoraigne, Waterkloof, Olievenhoutbosch, Rooihuiskraal, Lyttelton, Silverton, Centurion, Brooklyn and Hatfield with 1129 infections and 198 recoveries.

The Ga-Rankuwa, Mabopane, Winterveldt, Soshanguve, Rosslyn, Karenpark, Wonderboom, Akasia, Nina Park, Orchards, Amandasig, Theresa Park and Pretoria North region was third with 1016 infections and 216 recoveries.

The least number of cases - 79 - were in the Bronkhorstspruit region. The number of recoveries in the area was 19.

East Lynne, Rayton, Cullinan, Dewagensdrift, Refilwe, Silverton and Onverwacht had by yesterday recorded 83 infections, with 20 recoveries.

In Centurion, Springvale Primary School has temporarily closed for the second time in as many weeks after a Grade 7 teacher tested positive for Covid-19.

According to information shared with parents, the teacher in question went for a test after he fell ill. He had attended a funeral.

With the results unknown to him, he continued to go to school.

He was, however, sent home because his condition had not improved.

The school wrote on social media: “He attended a funeral on Wednesday, June 17, and came to school on Thursday and taught the Grade 7 classes. On Friday he was on sick leave and went for a Covid test. On Tuesday he reported for duty and was sent home. Due to the delay of the test result he went for a second test yesterday (June 25).”

At the weekend, the school informed parents it had written to the Department of Education seeking clarity regarding staying open after an infection incident and the criteria to be followed. It said it appeared schools received different resolutions.

Regarding the infected teacher, it said, “he taught 22 learners in Grade 7 on June 18 for 30 minutes. The school has been in touch with these parents so that they are aware that they must monitor their children.

“It must also be noted that it has been 10 days since the interaction and symptoms should have presented itself. The teachers were in contact with three teachers and they have been contacted to assess if they are displaying any symptoms and they have thus far indicated no symptoms.

“These learners and teachers have been notified that they must isolate for the remainder of the 14 days.”

The school is expected to reopen on Wednesday. After the first case early this month, fewer learners returned to school when it reopened after a two-day fumigation and the number was starting to rise when the second case was announced on Friday afternoon.

The Gauteng Education Department reported last week that 176 schools had been affected with 58 learners and 188 teachers testing positive.

Schools in Tshwane South were flagged after the number of learners, who tested positive, rose to 20.

More than 500 pupils, 1169 staff members and 775 schools in the country have been affected by Covid-19, according to the Basic Education Department.

National Association of School Governing Bodies general secretary Matakanya Matakanye said there was no common approach or guidelines to handle school Covid-19 cases.

Meanwhile, within a week the City of Tshwane temporarily closed more than three service delivery centres after some staff members tested positive.

Commuters using the Tshwane Bus Service on Friday woke up to a frustrating report that operations would be temporarily halted after detection of a positive case. They were advised to look for alternative transport until the buses and affected depots have been thoroughly disinfected.

Yesterday the City said buses would resume operations tomorrow. Three of the City’s depots - C de Wit, East Lynne and Pretoria North - were also temporarily closed to allow for disinfection and deep cleaning of the buildings and bus fleet.

The closure of the buildings and the suspension of bus operations helped to enable the tracing of personnel who came into contact with the bus driver who tested positive. A total of 19 drivers are self-isolating. The positive driver is in self-quarantine.

The Tshwane Metro Police Department also reported another positive case affecting a 46-year-old officer from the Mabopane metro police offices. The officer consulted a doctor after he experienced Covid-19-related symptoms. His results were positive and he is in self-isolation. Five other metro police officers were also recently reported to be infected.

The Tshwane Fresh Produce Market was closed for two days due to a confirmed coronavirus case. It reopened on Saturday. The market was disinfected and the affected areas deep cleaned to meet the minimum requirements for it to be reopened, said municipal spokesperson Selby Bokaba.

Market users were told to wear masks at all times when on the premises and to maintain physical distancing.

The New Eersterust community near Hammanskraal was recently shocked when a couple died of the virus within a matter of days.

Health Department spokesperson Kwara Kekana, who recently tested positive, said the surge in cases in Gauteng was to be expected.

“Increased movement and mobility of people is a contributing factor to confirmed Covid-19 cases. We caution the people of Gauteng to remain extra careful when attending and organising functions as sanctioned as per the regulations,” she said. Numbers would continue to soar as the country headed towards the peak. “Adhere to regulations and continue to practise the golden rule of social distancing, hygiene and good cough etiquette,” Kekana said.

* For the latest on the Covid-19 outbreak, visit IOL's  #Coronavirus trend page.
** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999 or visit sacoronavirus.co.za

Pretoria News

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