A mother and her child have tested positive for coronavirus in Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal, the Department of Education confirmed on Monday.
MEC for Education Kwazi Mshengu said Richards Bay Primary School had been under lockdown after 17 pupils in the child’s class began showing symptoms of infection.
He said the pupil was in Grade R and that her mother, who worked at a local bank, often dealt with foreign customers who came to exchange currency.
“We can confirm one Grade R learner from Richards Bay Primary tested positive. We understand her mother works at one of the banks and deals with the foreign exchange of money.”
One of the cheapest, easiest and most effective measures against the spread of COVID-19, is to wash your hands frequently with soap and water. But billions of people around the world don’t even have access to a safe place to wash their hands.
Mshengu said the mother tested positive on Sunday and is thought to have passed the virus to her little one.
“Tests were released on Sunday confirming the learner was positive.”
The school had been under lockdown for most of Monday.
A letter from a factory in Richards Bay states that family members of one of its male employees, thought to be related to the mother and child, was positively diagnosed with Covid-19.
“The employee is currently in self-isolation. At this stage, he is not showing any signs or symptoms, but will be tested.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday announced measures to curb the spread of the virus. The total of confirmed cases was updated to 62 on Monday.
He closed a number of points of entry into South Africa, including ports, saying the country needed to react quickly to the fatal pandemic that has swept across the globe.
Ramaphosa declared a national disaster and closed all schools a few days earlier to mitigate the spread of the virus.
KZN Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu also said serious steps would be taken to ensure the well-being of the poor in informal settlements.
She said that, if positive cases were identified in an informal settlement, everyone who was thought to have been infected would have to be tested.
“We need to be prepared for a worst-case scenario, so that should it happen we know what to do. Currently, we are looking at different areas of quarantine,” she said.