Covid testing and tracing campaign launched in Eastern Cape after students test positive

The campaign was launched after 30 Fort Hare University students tested positive for Covid-19.

22 October 2020 - 07:24
The health department in the Eastern Cape has launched a testing and tracing campaign after 30 Fort Hare University students positive for Covid-19. .
The health department in the Eastern Cape has launched a testing and tracing campaign after 30 Fort Hare University students positive for Covid-19. .
Image: 123RF/lightwise

The health department in the Eastern Cape has launched a testing and tracing campaign after 30 Fort Hare University students tested positive for Covid-19.

The students tested positive amid allegations of non-compliance with level 1 regulations where masks were not worn, social distancing was not observed, and sanitising of hands not done at a tavern in Quigney, East London.

According to the spokesperson for the University of Fort Hare, Tandi Mapukata, the students went out for drinks at the local tavern on October 3 and a week later attended a bash.

Mapukata said most of the students that tested positive are from the nursing science faculty and some from the law faculty.

“The Covid-19 positive students are quarantined and isolated at the Alice campus where the university had set aside a residence with 134 rooms,” said Mapukata.

“Students that attended the parties confirmed that lockdown regulations were not adhered to. Patrons who were at the tavern were allegedly more than 300 in number. Some had allegedly been drinking from one bottle and dancing close to one another.”

Mapukata said the university is in the process of getting a quarantine site for the East London campus, in addition to the 134-bed quarantine and isolation facility in Alice, and the province is assisting with additional isolation and quarantine facilities in King William’s Town.

The health department's spokesperson, Siyanda Manana, said two students who tested positive were traced by tracking teams in Buffalo City and Joe Gqabi after they went home. One was in Mount Fletcher and the other one was in Reston in East London.

Manana said the department of higher education was alerted about the developments at Fort Hare University.

“The Eastern Cape department of health urges everyone to remain vigilant as coronavirus is still among us. It is an invisible pandemic and our people are encouraged to always wear their masks, keep to social distancing, wash their hands regularly for more than 20 seconds, sanitise their hands, and be tested once they exhibit the symptoms of the virus,” he said.

Manana said, due to fears of the second Covid-19 wave, people are advised to avoid places where there are large crowds.

“We have seen an increase in the numbers as the levels of lockdown are brought down by the government, however people seem to think that Covid-19 is no more. People are advised to be responsible for their health,” he said.


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