The KZN father of two who has become the first person tested positive for Coronavirus in South Africa, has been housebound with his wife and children since returning from a holiday in Italy… but to be safe, his children’s school have closed today and cancelled the weekend’s sports’ activities. The man’s travelling companions have also been quarantined (despite headlines aimed to incite fear), says a source close to the family.
While some South Africans have been panicking since the news broke on Thursday, with many shops in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, reporting they’ve sold out of hand sanitisers in the past 24 hours, the situation is “well contained”, says the source.
The 38-year-old man returned from a group skiing holiday in Italy last weekend. According to the source, he and his wife and children have not seen anyone since they returned. As he was feeling ill, they immediately quarantined themselves and did not send their children to school this week, so the school has not been affected.
School in Hilton Closes Temporarily
However the school – Cowan House junior school in Hilton near Pietermaritzburg, which is a feeder school for prestigious Michael House and Hilton College – posted a notice on Facebook Thursday night, announcing that to be cautious they are closing today (Friday) and have cancelled school activities over the weekend.
“We do not wish to create alarm or unnecessary concern, but feel a conservative action is appropriate under these circumstances,” said Derek Braans (Headmaster) and Andrew Barnes (Chairman of the Board).
Travelling companions of Coronavirus patient quarantined
The Hilton couple had travelled to Italy with eight friends from Durban, says the source. All the friends have been quarantined as well and the infectious diseases units are currently visiting and testing them. They have been quarantined for at least two weeks, according to the source.
“So hopefully it’s really well contained,” says the source.
Cowan House message
Cowan House Prep School said in its message last night: “As you are by now aware, there has been a reported case of the COVID-19 virus in Hilton.
“We have received a number of enquiries from staff and parents about whether Cowan House will be closed tomorrow or not.
“At this stage there is limited information available to the school to inform the decision of whether to close the school or not. We have been in constant communication with the experts of the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD). Their advice has been that it is unnecessary to close the school.
“However, due to the lack of clarity and uncertainty at this point, we have taken the conservative decision to close Cowan House tomorrow Friday 6 March 2020. All extra-curricular weekend activities including sport will be cancelled.
“This will afford us the time and opportunity to obtain additional advice and guidance.”
The school has been commended for its swift communication and actions.
We wish the Hilton COVID-19 patient a swift and full recovery!
As you are by now aware, there has been a reported case of the COVID-19 virus in Hilton. We have received a number of…
Posted by Cowan House Prep School on Thursday, March 5, 2020