The reported number of Covid-19 cases in KwaZulu-Natal schools increased last week to 187, of which 139 are teachers and 37 are pupils.
A week earlier, there was a total of 74 cases in KZN schools.
KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala said Umgungundlovu district led in terms of the number of infected teachers. Thirty-six teachers tested positive in the district.
“Since schools reopened, we have seen an increase in the number of confirmed positive cases involving teachers, learners and support staff. Schools are a reflection of communities where they operate. As we see numbers of confirmed cases increase every day across the country, we expect also to see some increase in reported cases in schools,” he said on Sunday.
Zikalala said what was now critical was how the province managed the situation in schools where there were positive cases, so that the risk of further spread was minimised.
“We are encouraging people to allow the department of health to take a lead in managing Covid-19 cases even in schools. The health department will assess the situation in every school that has a positive case. This will include giving advice whether everyone needs to be tested or testing will be limited to primary/close contacts. We want to emphasise once more that the safety of our learners, teachers and support staff is always a priority.”
He added that there was no need to suspend classes for 14 days when a case was reported.
“Ordinarily, it should take the department of education not more than three days to decontaminate an affected school and thereafter allow teaching and learning to continue,” Zikalala said.