The Curro Heuwelkruin private school in Polokwane, Limpopo, has issued an urgent letter directing some of its Grade 10 pupils to self-isolate because the mother of a pupil had been in close contact with the province’s first Covid-19 patient.
Limpopo recorded its first case of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, News24 reported.
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On Wednesday, executive head of Curro Heuwelkruin Eben Lingenfelder confirmed to News24 that the woman’s child had attended the school until Monday.
In the letter, Lingenfelder wrote: “I was advised today that one of our Grade 10 learner’s parents [was] in close contact with the first person in Limpopo who tested positive for the Covid-19 virus. The learner attended school up to [Monday] and was in contact with classmates and friends.
“It would be irresponsible not to inform you of this information. If you are a recipient of this letter, it means that your Grade 10 child shared a class with this learner.”
Lingenfelder said the parent went into self-isolation and was tested for the virus. The result of the test will be available within the next few days.
As a precautionary measure, the school has advised that all learners and teachers who had contact with the learner should go into self-isolation until the result of the tests are known.
Lingenfelder said if the learner tests positive, other learners must self-isolate for at least two weeks and get tested if they develop any symptoms.
Provincial health department spokesperson Neil Shikwambana told News24 he was not aware of the incident but would investigate.
Curro Holdings on Wednesday said it had been made aware of the incident.
“Curro assures that the safety of their learners and staff remains their utmost priority as they continue to monitor the situation,” the group said in a statement.
“The group is also continuing to keep abreast of all relevant news sources and alerts issued by the Department of Health as well as the Department of Education.
“The group has implemented stringent hygiene and health safety measures across all their schools to work towards curbing any possible transmission. It is advisable that all Curro learners and staff remain sensible and safe during this period while monitoring their health accordingly. Proper sanitation should be practiced at all times.”
On Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that schools would close on Wednesday.
He said schools would remain closed until after the Easter weekend, which runs from 10 to 13 April.
This means many children will be at home for almost a month before returning to school, if the dates are not extended.
Many independent schools, which follow a four-term calendar, were due to shut their doors on Friday, while those who follow a three-term system were due to continue teaching until 9 April.
On Tuesday, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize confirmed a total of 85 positive cases of Covid-19 in South Africa, an increase of 23 cases from Monday.
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