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WC Education Department Encouraged By COVID-19 Recovery Rate Among Teachers, Pupils

WC Education Department Encouraged By COVID-19 Recovery Rate Among Teachers, Pupils

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) said there were 333 active COVID-19 cases among staff.

According to the department, the total number of cases recorded since March had topped 1,920.

These included cases that were reported before schools reopened.

The WCED said 30 staff members had died of COVID-19 since the pandemic hit our shores, 21 of whom were teachers.

MEC Debbie Schäfer, however, said they were encouraged by the good recovery rate.

“It is, however, encouraging to see that the overwhelming majority of our staff members who have been infected have already recovered from COVID-19. 1,557 staff members have recovered to date. We wish all those who are still currently infected a speedy and complete recovery. The number of deaths of teachers amounts to 0.84% of the total number of deaths in the Western Cape, and 0.07% of our teacher cohort.”

Since June 379 pupils have tested positive for COVID-19.

“In addition, we will continue to receive the reports of learners who have tested positive for COVID-19. 379 learners have tested positive since 1 June when the first grades returned to class. This amounts to 0.1% of learners in the grades that have returned to class and many of these children have already recovered as well. No deaths of learners have been reported to the WCED.”

Schäfer also commented on remarks made by the World Health Organization on schools.

“There has been a great deal of interest recently in comments made by Dr Michael Ryan of the World Health Organisation regarding schools and COVID-19, which have been used to motivate for the closure of schools in South Africa.

“Unfortunately, some are only portraying selected phrases from his comments, and ignoring the rest of the important points he made. These included evaluating each specific country/context individually and using data and evidence to ensure that the decision to re-open schools is based on the best interests of children – including their educational interests.”

The call for schools to be closed until after the COVID-19 peak are growing as fears for the well-being of pupils and staff remain a concern.