According to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), as of 29 April, the Free State has the third-highest active coronavirus caseload in the country, standing at 3110. The province ranks behind KwaZulu-Natal and the Northern Cape in that regard.
Sadtu now says the spike in Qwaqwa, Ladybrand, and Bloemfontein is due to a rise in the number of teachers and learners that have tested positive. This as government schools are currently on their first-term recess with expectations such that academic activities will resume on Monday 3 May. Sadtu spokesperson, Provincial Secretary Moloi Mokholoane, urges the Education Department, educators, and learners to ensure compliance to Covid-19 regulations.
“Let’s uphold the protocols as laid down by the president, because lives matter,” says Mokholoane. He blames the complacency at schools due to pressure from the department for targets to be reached. He says, for now, these targets do not matter, all parties need to ensure that social distancing, hand washing and sanitising of hands are maintained.
Mokholoane says their statement on the issue is based on statistics from the Free State Health Department.
Most recently the NICD noted the upsurge in cases in the Northern Cape, North West, and Free State Provinces. “The team is working with the respective provinces to ascertain whether the rise in cases can be attributed to cluster outbreaks, and recommend increased testing and contact tracing to contain the situation and limit further spread,” says Dr Harry Moultrie, Senior Epidemiologist at the NICD.