The reopening of schools continues to face major headwinds after 204 learners and hostel assistants tested positive for COVID-19 at Makaula Senior Secondary School in KwaBhaca, in the Eastern Cape.
The Department of Basic Education, said in a statement, it is working together with the Department of Health to support the learners, educators and parents affected by the coronavirus in the Eastern Cape.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said the cases being reported in schools show 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.
“What is also important is to ensure that even during schools hours and beyond we stick to the basic requirements of wearing the mask, sanitize, wash hands and keep physical distancing,” she added.
Teacher union SADTU has called for schools in the province to be closed.
The Eastern Cape has the second number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country behind the Western Cape.
Health Minister, Zweli Mkhize, who attended the opening of a field hospital in the province today said the country is moving into a devastating storm in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our testing strategy has enabled us to complete over 1.2 million tests in just under four months. We’ve been able to implement a strategy to effectively deal with each area. We’ll focus on the Eastern Cape and Gauteng after moving from the Western Cape, prioritising the elderly, the vulnerable and those with symptoms.”
“We then resolved to embark on what is called the differentiated approach. Now that we have reduced the restrictions and started opening up, we are seeing that the numbers have started to increase. We are moving towards a devastating, decimating storm. There was no way we could keep a perpetual lockdown forever.”