Ninety-eight Ethembeni High School pupils have tested positive for Covid-19.
Pupils from Burgersdorp and Middelburg have been affected, according to the Eastern Cape education department.
Education department spokesperson Mali Mtima said: “A multi departmental team consisting of the local municipality, departments of health (DoH) and public works and education have been established to manage the spread of this outbreak and advise on measures suitable for learners, especially those writing their matric trial examinations,” Mtima said. “Currently, the team has advised the department to allow learners to write, as there are no reasons to stop the learners since they are medically fit. Invigilators have been advised to put on PPE and scripts will also be monitored for a specified period before being marked.”
The team will also outline a roadmap to ensure learners do not transfer the virus to their homes or parents.
The team is also working with families of the affected learners, testing and providing them with their results so that they can adopt regulated coping mechanisims should they test positive.
According to the education MEC Fundile Gade, the teams on ground will asses the situation daily and advise should this outbreak require the activation of a multi departmental disaster management team.
“A report submitted by the department of health has just indicated that 552 learners will also be quarantined. The report further confirmed that contact tracing has started”, said Gade.
“Of the 685 tested learners and teachers, 98 learners have tested positive. Our team is giving hourly updates to help establish the number of matrics from this group who tested positive for isolation. Public Works has indicated that these learners will be isolated in Aliwal North. In this centre, learner will be allowed to continue writing their trial exams”.
All contacts of the 98 postive learners are being tracked and traced urgently to curb the spread of the virus.