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Joburg school 'closed as a precaution' over coronavirus fears

09 March 2020 - 10:08 By Nonkululeko Njilo
The different strains of the coronavirus family cause different symptoms.
The different strains of the coronavirus family cause different symptoms.
Image: 123RF/lightwise

Grayston Preparatory School in Morningside, Sandton, was closed as a precaution on Monday because of concerns that a teacher may have been exposed to the coronavirus.

Gauteng education department spokesperson Steve Mabona confirmed the school will be closed on Monday.

“For more information on what led to that decision please interact with the department of health,” he said.  

SAfm and eNCA reported the school was closed as a precaution after one of its teachers had been in contact with a group of South Africans who had recently travelled to Italy. Three people in that group have subsequently tested positive for the virus.

“One of the members of staff has been in direct contact with a person who has tested  positive with the Covid-19 virus. The staff member is not displaying any symptoms of the virus,” SAfm said in a tweet.   

Health ministry spokesperson Lwazi Manzi confirmed the closure of the school, but said more details would be shared later on Monday during a media briefing.

Meanwhile, private school Cowan House in KwaZulu-Natal remained closed on Monday after confirmation last week that a parent of one of its pupils had tested positive for the virus.

The school said in a letter to parents at the weekend that further test results, of the family of the affected parent, had revealed the children were negative but the mother was positive.

The school was consulting with the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), departments of health and education to assess the risks to the children and staff with regards to reopening the school on Tuesday.

“We will go ahead, as per our previous correspondence, with plans for [Monday] when school will be closed for pupils, allowing for the continued deep clean of the school and meetings and future planning with staff.”

Roxanne Rawlins, a South African citizen in Wuhan, gives us a look at living in lockdown in the epicentre of the deadly coronavirus in Wuhan, China. Rawlins is one of 184 SA citizens who are awaiting repatriation by the SA government.


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