NEWS & ANALYSIS

Mother, child in Richards Bay test positive for Covid-19 as cases in KZN rise

Richards Bay Primary School had been under lockdown after 17 pupils in the child's class began showing symptoms

Mother, child in Richards Bay test positive for Covid-19 as cases in KwaZulu-Natal rise

16 March 2020

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 is in Grade R and that her mother, who works at a local bank, often dealt with foreign customers who come to exchange currency.

"We can confirm one Grade R leaner from Richards Bay Primary tested positive. We understand her mother works at one of the banks and deals with the foreign exchange of money."

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 News24 has seen 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."

JUST IN: Family members of a factory employee in Richards Bay have apparently tested positive for Covid-19. Pupils who attend school with the man's child are being tested at their school in the town right now. @News24 @TeamNews24#CoronaVirusSA #CoronavirusOutbreak pic.twitter.com/S12WDZ2ULs— Kaveel Singh (@kaveels) March 16, 2020

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 that 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 quarantining," News24 reported her saying.

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