Education

South Africa teacher and pupil test positive for Covid-19

KWAZULU NATAL, South Africa – Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and KZN Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu have sent their condolences to the family of a Durban school teacher who died on Tuesday after contracting Covid-19. 

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The woman became the second person to die of the virus in KZN and the fifth person to die in the country. 

She was a teacher at Isipingo’s Platt Drive Primary School. She had recently tested positive for the virus. 

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said the woman had been admitted to hospital and had underlying chronic asthma and hypertension 

The Basic Education department said another school teacher at the school had tested positive for the virus and has advised those who had come into contact with the teacher to get tested.  

DBE spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said a 14-year-old pupil who was related to one of the two teachers had also tested positive. The pupil is a Grade 9 pupil at Umlazi’s Ogwini High School. 

“The family of one of the teachers have also tested positive and arrangements have been made to trace all those who may have come into contact with the deceased and the immediate family members,” said Mhlanga.

Motshekga said the death of the teacher was a devastating loss for the sector. 

“We will ensure that the families, colleagues and classmates of the learner receive counselling. Losing teachers at a time like this is particularly hard when they are instrumental in ensuring that learning and teaching continues during the time of the lockdown,” she said.

Mshengu said he too was saddened by the news of the passing of the teacher.

“This is another sad reminder that we all need to take the necessary steps and be extra cautious during this time. We really need to also take heed of the government’s call for social distancing, hygiene practices and staying safe. It can happen to anybody and for that reason let’s ensure that we do all that we can to stop the spread of the virus,” he said.

South Africa is in Day 6 of a 21-day lockdown which was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa to curb the spread of the rapidly spreading coronavirus. 

To date, there have been five deaths in the country and more than 1 300 cases – the most confirmed cases on the African continent. 

Government is still urging citizens to stay home, practice social distancing and calls for regular hand-washing with soap and water or a hand sanitizer

** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the government’s 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999

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