The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) says there are currently 333 active Covid-19 cases in its ranks, representing only about 0.8% of staff.
According to the department, the total number of infections recorded since March now stands at 1,920 and includes cases reported before the schools reopened.
The WCED says 30 staff members have already died from Covid-19 since the pandemic broke out in the country and 21 were teachers.
The Western Cape MEC for education, Debbie Schäfer, believes that the rate at which people are recovering from the viral disease is encouraging because the vast majority (1 557 staff members) have already recovered.
She wished everyone who was still ill a speedy and complete recovery.
According to her, the number of deaths of teachers makes up 0.84% of the total deaths in the Western Cape, and 0.07% of the teacher group.
Since June, 379 students have tested positive for the virus when the first grades returned to their classes.
“This amounts to 0.1% of the pupils and many of these children have already recovered. No deaths of pupils were reported to the department. “
Schäfer says no infections have been reported at more than half of the Western Cape’s schools.
In 72.4% of all schools that reported infections to the regional office, only one or two people tested positive.
“We therefore do not see that there is a mass spread of the virus in schools,” says Schäfer.
She says people should also keep in mind that this does not necessarily mean that the virus is contracted in schools.
“We expect cases reported by schools to occur in areas where there is a high community transfer. What we do not see is proof that the staff or pupils are at greater risk of developing Covid-19 in the school than elsewhere. ”
Schäfer also referred to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) comments on schools.
The call to close schools until after the Covid-19 peak has increased recently because there are still fears about the well-being of the pupils and staff.
She says there has been a lot of interest in the comments of dr. Michael Ryan of the WHO on schools and Covid-19, which was used to motivate the closure of schools in South Africa.
“Unfortunately, only certain parts of his comments are used while the rest of the important points he made are simply ignored. This includes evaluating each specific country and individual context, and applying data and evidence to ensure that the decision to reopen schools is based on the best interests of the pupils – including their educational interests. “