The department of education has sent a team of counsellors to support the Ethembeni Secondary School community in Burgersdorp where 102 schoolchildren tested positive for Covid-19.
At the weekend the number of confirmed cases was recorded at 98. There was confusion on Monday morning, with the total being reported as 172 and then 117. However education spokesperson Loyiso Pulumani said the confirmed number of cases stood at 102.
“We got the results of the Grade 8 pupils back, which has increased the number. The ones who tested positive have been isolated at a centre in Aliwal North. 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.
Isolation sites have been identified in Steynsburg for Grade 12 pupils should there be a need to quarantine those who tested negative, as they could be in the incubation phase.
Pulumani said it had come to their attention that several pupils who tested positive were from an informal settlement.
“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.”
Pulumani said there would be psychological support for pupils who were affected by the virus.
“There are 30 Grade 12 pupils who are in quarantine. They are writing their exams in isolation,” Pulumani said.
The outbreak at the school started with two pupils who tested positive for Covid-19 but failed to alert the school.