At least 106 new Covid-19 cases have been reported in schools in North West, the provincial department of education confirmed on Monday. The new cases are 11 staff members, 73 teachers, and 22 scholars.
Mmaphefo Matsemela, provincial MEC for education, said the schools involved should follow the standard operating procedures for Covid-19.
“I want to encourage all our officers in the department to follow the standard protocol when reporting Covid-19 cases. Principals need to make sure they stay in touch with the local clinic, ”she said in a statement.
“Schools must also take steps to disseminate information about the disease and the possible transmission within the school community. The Covid-19 cases we reported are a sign that the road is still long and we need to maintain a positive attitude to make sure we overcome the pandemic. ”
Eleven schools from Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, Dr. Ruth Segomotsi Mompati, and Bonjanala districts have already reopened after being closed due to Covid-19 cases. The department declared the schools safe after disinfecting.
Ruskraal Primary School in Lethabong near Rustenburg was closed until July 8 after three teachers tested positive for Covid-19 on June 22. The school was disinfected and would have reopened on June 25, but only seven teachers showed up. The others are apparently in self-isolation and waiting for their results. Mokotedi Mokotedi, the school governing body’s general secretary, said parents decided to keep the school closed for longer to prevent further spread of the virus.
Dr. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said the outbreak in schools was a result of scholars or teachers who unknowingly contracted the virus in their communities before returning to school. “That is why an intensive screening and testing program has been launched in schools so that we can identify cases as quickly as possible.”
Mkhize said the department was trying to disrupt the school calendar as little as possible. “Our work, in collaboration with our experts, works closely with the Department of Education so that schools do not need to close unnecessarily.”
According to him, there is expected to be a further increase in Covid-19 cases in the different provinces over the next few weeks.