Twelve teachers in Gauteng have died of Covid-19.
This was revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku who was speaking on Friday as part of the Gauteng Provincial Command Council on the latest of Covid-19 in the province.
Confirmed cases as of July 23 in Gauteng are:
There were 148 854 confirmed cases as of July 23 in Gauteng, 70 270 active cases, 77 397 recoveries and 1 187 deaths.
Masuku said that in addition to the teachers, the Gauteng Department of Education also lost an administrative assistant to the virus while the Department of Health lost a nurse in the past week.
Masuku’s revelations come a few days after the Educators Union of SA (Eusa) vowed to forcibly shut down schools while ramping up its message that “a dead teacher cannot teach, and a dead learner cannot learn”.
Pupils were on Monday turned away from schools on the West Rand in what appears to be in support of the teachers unions’ call to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga to close schools until the Covid-19 peak has passed.
The protests were further escalated after reports of deaths of teachers in Fochville and Khutsong as well as a mine area of Driefontein, which was recently declared a virus hotspot after scores of mineworkers in the area were allowed to return to work after the relaxation of the lockdown to Level 4.
SA Democratic Teachers Union Carletonville branch chairperson Bobo Morolong said four teachers had died in the area last weekend.
Morolong said two teachers died at Khutsong schools in the township and another was from neighbouring Wedela township.
Due to the rising cases, another teacher was said to have retired.
Gauteng Education HOD Edward Mosuwe also revealed at the briefing that due that fears that come with pupils having to go to school and possibly contracting Covid-19, this had in turn resulted in unscrupulous people exploiting the situation.
As a result, Mosuwe said, there were illegal schools mushrooming under the guise of offering lockfown learning.
Mosuwe also said Covid-19 cases in the province’s schools were on the rise.
Masuku also said they were worried about the rising Covid-19 cases in the Sedibeng District Municipality.
Masuku said they would have to visit Sedibeng in order to understand what was going on there as well as put interventions in place to control the spread of the virus.