Motshekga urges Eastern Cape community members to avoid visiting schools

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. Picture: Bongani Shilunane/African News Agency

Over 200 Covid-19 cases were reported at an Eastern Cape school on Tuesday.

Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga has warned community members in the Eastern Cape from visiting schools amid the increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases in the province.

This follows reports that 204 positive Covid-19 cases including learners and hostel assistants at the Makaula Senior Secondary School in KwaBhaca, were confirmed by the national department of education.

In a statement, the education department said the Eastern Cape health department has deployed a team of doctors and tracers to the school as a result of the infections.

“The confirmed cases were picked up as a result of the stringent measures put in place in all schools to contain the spread of the virus. Since schools reopened three weeks under the Covid-19 environment many cases have been picked up in schools as a direct result of the safety requirements that are being implemented,” the department said.

The department further urged school in the province to follow the standard operating procedures to ensure that appropriate measures were applied, to assist all the people infected and affected by the virus.

Motshekga said the cases being reported in schools showed that many people already had the virus, but they didn’t know it until they were screened and identified.

“We will continue to work hard in schools to make sure that we protect our learners, teachers and employees within schools. It is important to work together to ensure that we beat the virus,” she said.

She also said her department was working hard to make sure that all schools were Covid-19 compliant before it could receive learners.

“What is also important is to ensure that even during schools hours and beyond we stick to the basic requirements of wearing the mask, sanitising, washing hands and keeping physical distance,” she added.

She further urged members of the community to desist from visiting schools as that also increased the risk for more infections.

Speaking at the handover of the VW South Africa sponsored field hospital for Covid-19 in the Eastern Cape on Tuesday, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said the opening up of more sectors of the economy and the easing of lockdown restrictions had resulted in the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in the country.

Mkhize said the country was “moving towards a devastating and decimating” Covid-19 “storm”.

There are currently 16,895 people infected with Covid-19 in the Eastern Cape, while 8,035 people had recovered from the virus, with 303 people losing their lives.

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