KZN teacher got virus at hospital, union claims

Picture: Michel Bega

The union appealed to hospitals to exercise social distancing on patients.

A teachers’ union is adamant that a KwaZulu-Natal schoolteacher who succumbed to Covid-19 picked up the disease at a local hospital.

The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) expressed shock and sadness at the untimely death of member Tholakele Shandu as a result of contracting the coronavirus. She was a teacher at Plattdrive Primary School in Isipingo, south of Durban.

Yesterday, Sadtu said in a statement that Shandu had suffered severe abdominal pains and was admitted to St Augustine Hospital, where she spent about two-and-a-half weeks.

After being discharged, she became more ill and was readmitted and diagnosed with asthma.

She died at the hospital on Tuesday.

“Sadtu strongly believes Tholakele contracted the virus when she was first admitted at St Augustine Hospital. According to her family, she was hospitalised with an elderly patient in her ward,” read the statement.

Sadtu sent its deepest condolences to the Shandu family, pupils and teachers of Plattdrive Primary School.

“We call on them not to panic, as we believe they were not affected because Tholakele never went back to school after being discharged from hospital.”

The union appealed to hospitals to exercise social distancing on patients. “We also call on the department of health to trace and track all who may have been in contact with Tholakele.”

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