An 18-year-old grade 12 pupil in the Free State has succumbed to Covid-19 related complications as positive cases continue to rise in the province.
Free State education department spokesperson Howard Ndaba said as a result of the positive cases, Lephola Secondary School in Thabong, Welkom, has been closed.
“We have eight grade 12 learners and one teacher who tested positive for Covid-19 at Lephola Secondary School. Unfortunately an 18-year-old succumbed to Covid-19 related complications. The learner tested for the virus last week on Wednesday and only got the results on Monday. She passed away on Tuesday after she experienced health complications,” Ndaba said.
He said the department was not aware of what could have led to the positive cases at the school.
“For now we are waiting for the department of health to give us a way forward. The school will only open on Monday,” he said.
Ndaba said this was the third school in the province to close in less than a week as a result of Covid-19 cases.
“Eunice High School was closed on Friday and will only open on Monday after two kitchen staff members, five boarders and one teacher had tested positive for Covid-19. Tebang Primary School was also closed after five educators and 11 learners tested positive for the virus,” he said.
Ndaba said in Lejweleputswa district there were 52 positive cases registered between Monday last week and Thursday.
“In Xhariep district we have 30 learners who tested positive for the virus, two non-teaching staff, 14 teachers. We call on learners, teachers, non-teaching staff in all our schools to be vigilant and religiously observe non-pharmaceutical Covid-19 protocols which include wearing of face masks, regular sanitising of hands and at all times keeping adequate social distance. Parents and members of the community are asked to avoid visiting schools unless it is really necessary,” he said.