More than 180 learners test positive for Covid-19 at Eastern Cape school

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Eastern Cape currently has 16,895 people infected with Covid-19 while 303 deaths have been reported.

More than 180 learners at the Makaula Senior Secondary School in Mount Frere, Eastern Cape have tested positive for Covid-19.

The Eastern Cape department of education was unreachable for comment on the matter at the time of publication. This article will be updated once an official response is received.

There were 16,895 people infected with Covid-19 in the province as of Tuesday morning, while 8,035 people had recovered from the virus, with 303 people losing their lives.

On the schools’ readiness for reopening, the Eastern Cape provincial government said on Monday, 22 June that approximately 5,037 schools were declared ready for reopening while 67 are partially ready and 17 are not ready, according to the school readiness assessment report as of 19 June.

The premier’s office said at least 84 schools had not yet opened due to 14 of them not having access to water, while 34 had no functional ablution facilities and 34 had a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE).

“Two special schools from Alfred Nzo East did not have PPE for support staff. The department is working on this matter and will provide updated information,” it said.

Meanwhile, the South Africa Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) in the Eastern Cape called for schools in the province to shut down as it remains concerned about ablution facilities, shortage of personal protection equipment (PPE) and water supply at schools.

eNCA reported that Sadtu is set to meet with the Eastern Cape education department on Tuesday to discuss its concerns.

Sadtu provincial secretary, Chris Mdingi said the union was concerned with schools that were not ready to reopen following inspections at the schools.

“We have been receiving reports from schools of the PPE that did not reach the schools on time. The quality of those have been questionable. Even the issue of water that has been promised to be delivered, water tanks while they have not been delivered as promised,” he said.

Mdingi said the union would give the provincial education department a period of one week to resolve the issues at the schools.

“We have been calling for a status of readiness report and now that the department is going to meet with us, we are saying that a week should be more than enough to do what has not yet been done,” he said.

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