Over 180 pupils test positive at coronavirus hotspot in South Africa
London, June 23, 2020 (AltAfrica)-The health authorities in South Africa are scrambling to contain a Coronavirus outbreak at a school in Eastern Cape province after about 180 pupils tested positive.
Makaula Senior Secondary School was closed on Tuesday for decontamination. Officials say contact tracing and testing is underway.
The South African Democratic Teacher’s Union has called for the closure of schools in the area.
Eastern Cape province, South Afric’s coronavirus hotspot has so far closed 196 schools since President Cyril Ramaphosa ordered the reopening of schools on 1 June for older students.
The coastal province is the second hardest-hit in South Africa in terms of Covid-19 related deaths – with more than 300 fatalities. The neighbouring Western Cape province has recorded 1,500 out of the country’s 1,990 total deaths.
Some 2,000 people in South Africa will be involved in what is widely considered to be one of the earliest and most advanced trials for a vaccine to tackle the pandemic.
The first doses of the vaccine are being administered in Johannesburg this week.
South Africa has been chosen, not just for its expertise in this field, but because Covid-19 is now spreading fast here.
That makes it far easier for scientists to find a community at immediate risk of infection, and to then tell whether this British vaccine is effective.
Similar tests are already underway in the UK, but the infection rate there is slowing. Hence the move, not just to South Africa, but to Brazil too, where 5,000 people will be involved in the vaccine trial.
Meanwhile, a minibus driver was shot dead and three teachers left in critical condition after an attack by gunmen in Kwa-Zulu Natal province.
Police say the gunmen opened fire on the minibus that was transporting teachers to Masijabule High School on Tuesday morning.
The shooting has been linked to a fight by minibus operators over lucrative routes. No arrests have been made