The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union was left stunned after discovering that one of their own died due to the coronavirus.
In a statement, South Africa Democratic Teachers’ Union general secretary Mugwena Maluleke recognized the coronavirus victim as Tholakele Shandu who was a teacher at Plattdrive Primary School in Isiphingo, South of Durban and also the member of Union.
“She had suffered severe abdominal pains and was first admitted around the 6th of March and spent about two-and-a-half weeks at St Augustine Hospital. After being discharged, she fell more ill and was readmitted and diagnosed with asthma. She passed away at the hospital on Tuesday, 31 March 2020,” Maluleke said.
South Africa’s confirmed cases have recently reached 1 353 and Shandu is among the five people who died from the deadly virus.
Maluleke said the union “strongly believed” that Shandu had drawn the virus while she was bedridden at the hospital.
“According to her family, she was hospitalized with an elderly patient in her ward. We are aware, Cde Shandu’s children have been admitted at Addington hospital and a friend, who fetched her from the hospital when she was first discharged, have also tested positive with the virus,” he said.
“We send our deepest and sincerest condolences to the Shandu family, learners, and teachers of Plattdrive Primary School.”
He also called on Plattdrive teachers and learners not to overreact over Shandu’s contraction of the coronavirus and her sudden death as she had not resumed at work after she was discharged from hospital.
“As we mourn her death, we call on hospitals to try their best, with the limited resources they have, to also exercise social distancing on patients. We also call on the Department of Health to trace and track all who may have been in contact with Cde Shandu, her children and friend and encourage them to be tested and implement self-isolation, quarantine and social distancing. They should be given counseling in order to build their resilience,” Maluleke said.
“We commend President Ramaphosa for announcing the launch of a screening and testing program that will include 10 000 workers who will be visiting homes in towns and villages to screen residents for COVID-19,” he said.
Sadtu requested the government to save some of the drive-in outlets for testing purposes as a matter of emergency so that the cycle of infection can be distorted.
“As the COVID-19 spreads, we call on the society not to stigmatize those who are affected and infected by the virus and their families. We call on the society to educate those who are still thinking that the virus knows boundaries and conspiracy theories to abide by the rules and regulations as promulgated by the government and stay indoors,” Maluleke said.