Western Cape schools close due to Covid-19 infections
More than 15 schools in the Western Cape have closed due positive cases of Covid-19 among staff and pupils.
The Western Cape Education Department confirmed that among the schools forced to close are Siyabulela Primary and Thembani Primary in Langa and Gordon’s Bay Primary in Gordon’s Bay.
According to reports, one of the schools reported that a grade 7 pupil tested positive for Covid-19. The pupil was sent home after showing flu-like symptoms last Thursday.
“Since the start of the pandemic, 98 teachers were infected and these infections happened before schools reopened,” said Brian Schreuder, head of provincial education in a media brief.
According to Education MEC Debbie Schäfer, 1 787 people under the age of 20 tested positive in the Western Cape.
“The number of infections among children as at June 5 is very concerning. And the immediate reaction is that it is because of schools reopening. However, it isn’t.
“Of this number, 1 537 of those cases were reported before May 29, before schools reopened. The 1787 is just 6.4% of the number of infections across the province on the same date.”
Meanwhile, the Congress of South African Students (Cosas) Western Cape wants all schools in the Western Cape closed and is calling for mass testing.
“Cosas gave all schools prior notice to communicate the shutting down of schools in the Western Cape with immediate effect. We are letting the department know that scholars won’t be used as rhetorical kits, to see if the virus really kills or not. We will be shutting down all schools from June 15 forcefully,” said the union in a statement.
The Western Cape has reported the majority of South Africa’s Covid-19 cases with a spike in deaths as well. Provinces across the country have reported numerous positive cases. With some schools having to close their doors and send learners home.
In the first week into the reopening of schools, the Western Cape education department said that more than 60 staff and two pupils in 55 schools tested positive for Covid-19.