‘Government must act swiftly after almost 200 people at EC school test positive for Covid-19’

According to Baxolile Nodada, DA MP – Alfred Nzo 2 Constituency Leader, the Democratic Alliance (DA) will be requesting urgent intervention from provincial and national government after a massive outbreak of positive Covid-19 cases at a school in the Eastern Cape.

“Today, 23 June 2020, I conducted an oversight inspection at the Makhaula Senior Secondary School near Mount Frere where 197 learners and non-teaching staff have tested positive for the Coronavirus.

I met with delegations from the Eastern Cape Departments of Health, Education, Environmental Affairs, Social Development, and representatives of the school.

It seems the main cause of the outbreak is negligence in ensuring social distancing in the hostels.

The school received all necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) but no social distancing protocols were put in place in the hostels. Learners attend this school from all over the province, but upon inspection, we found that the beds are too close together for social distancing purposes. Screening and testing were not done when the learners returned to the school.

Initially, 32 learners were tested on 17 June. Of these learners, 26 tested positive for Covid-19.

On 19 June 235 learners and non-teaching staff were tested, of which 172 tested positive. Currently, 61 test are still pending, but the actual number of infections can be much higher as there are allegations of learners, housed in the hostel for boys, that ran away.

Of the more than 60 teachers not a single one has been tested. Parents and the community at large also have not been tested.

Only 26 positive cases have been hospitalized as there are no available hospital beds in the Alfred Nzo District. All other positive cases are still at school.

The DA will be insisting that the Department of Health moves swiftly to provide mass testing to the teachers, parents, and the community at large.

The Departments of Health and Public Works must also give urgent feedback on possible quarantine sites to mitigate the lack of hospital beds in the district.

The DA will do all it can to assist communities suffering due to the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.”



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