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102 Learners At Eastern Cape School Test Positive

More than 100 learners at Ethembeni High school in the Eastern Cape tested postive for Covid-19 over the weekend. The outbreak at the school started with 2 learners and increased as they made contact with others. 

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The Eastern Cape Department of Education has sent counsellors to the school to counsel learners after they received their results. Grade 12 learners who tested positive will still continue with their exams, as they are in the process of writing their trial examinations.

“We have a full team of psychologists, therapists and counsellors on the ground, as there are nine teachers working from home due to comorbidities. We imagine it is going to be quite traumatic for them to come back to this daunting situation.” said Loyiso Pulumani, spokesperson of the department.

Principal of Ethembeni High School, Dira Moleko said everyone at the school feared contracting the virus. Just yesterday, teachers with comorbidities were ordered to return to school as the country had officially moved into lockdown level 1. 

"We also had educators with comorbidities that were supposed to start today. Most of them have written some SMSes saying they are not feeling well because of the anxiety and so on. 

MEC for Education in the Eastern Cape, Fundile Gade said task teams have been put together for contact tracing. 

"It takes a toll on government because it reflects how we should then make a proper analysis as the President has declared level 1 now. It then becomes a responsibility for us to ensure that we look closely at where originally these kids are coming from"

Pulumani said some grade 8 learners who tested positive have been isolated at a centre in Aliwal North. He said there are 30 grade 12 learners who will have to write their exams while they are in isolation.

“At the moment things are back to normal at the school, which was closed on Thursday and Friday for deep cleaning. The grade 12 pupils who tested positive for Covid-19 are continuing with their exams at the centres,” Pulumani said.

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