The Eastern Cape Education Department has attributed the coronavirus outbreak in Burgersdorp to non-compliance with COVID-19 regulations. This is after 102 learners at Ethembeni High School in the area tested positive for the virus in less than four days.
Briefing the media, MEC Fundile Gade says stringent measures have been put in place to contain the spread of the virus.
A multi-disciplinary team has been deployed to the affected area to curb the spread of the virus in the school. Investigations revealed that some members in the affected areas are acting as if the virus has disappeared.
These actions include staging sporting activities and other social gatherings which disregard the regulations.
MEC Fundile Gade says provisions have been made for matric candidates to continue with their trial exams.
“We have been able to manage that outbreak in particular to the environment that is a bit intoxicated with a bit of ill-discipline, social illnesses within the township where the school is located, and a bit on non-compliance of the taverns that are in that space.”
COVID-19 in Eastern Cape
The Eastern Cape government says despite the shocking revelation of the coronavirus outbreak at the school, indications are that the province has weathered the COVID-19 storm and that the Department of Health remains resolute.
The outbreak at the school and two other schools comes at a time when infection numbers are coming down.
Health MEC Sindiswa Gomba says her department has now conducted a risk assessment in the area and 750 learners and teachers have been tested. In Middleburg, 26 learners and 25 community members tested positive and have been isolated.
“One elderly person has been placed in hospital for close monitoring. The Department of Health has increased the number of tracing teams, sent more mobile labs to support testing, and increased vehicles for loud hailing and contact tracing. The team is also supporting the Department of Education for psychosocial support. Words of gratitude go to both the Chris Hani and Joe Gqabi ward teams for moving swiftly and conducting tracing, loud hailing, and giving support to families contacted and tested. Thumbs up to the district model launched by the President, debriefing has been provided. Mass mobilisation and awareness is continuing. We are calling on communities to at all times obey regulations as non-compliance is been sited.”
The Department of Education says it will continue with awareness programmes as part of curbing the spread of the virus.
Below are the latest coronavirus stats in SA: