20°C / 22°C
  • Mon
  • 21°C
  • 9°C
  • Tue
  • 21°C
  • 10°C
  • Wed
  • 20°C
  • 10°C
  • Thu
  • 19°C
  • 8°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 6°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 14°C
  • Tue
  • 15°C
  • 10°C
  • Wed
  • 14°C
  • 9°C
  • Thu
  • 15°C
  • 11°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 9°C
  • Mon
  • 23°C
  • 10°C
  • Tue
  • 24°C
  • 11°C
  • Wed
  • 23°C
  • 10°C
  • Thu
  • 22°C
  • 8°C
  • Fri
  • 20°C
  • 8°C
  • Mon
  • 22°C
  • 7°C
  • Tue
  • 22°C
  • 6°C
  • Wed
  • 23°C
  • 7°C
  • Thu
  • 22°C
  • 5°C
  • Fri
  • 20°C
  • 3°C
  • Mon
  • 25°C
  • 16°C
  • Tue
  • 23°C
  • 16°C
  • Wed
  • 19°C
  • 15°C
  • Thu
  • 21°C
  • 13°C
  • Fri
  • 20°C
  • 12°C
  • Mon
  • 21°C
  • 14°C
  • Tue
  • 16°C
  • 9°C
  • Wed
  • 14°C
  • 8°C
  • Thu
  • 15°C
  • 10°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 10°C
  • Mon
  • 17°C
  • 10°C
  • Tue
  • 13°C
  • 5°C
  • Wed
  • 15°C
  • 4°C
  • Thu
  • 15°C
  • 5°C
  • Fri
  • 19°C
  • 6°C
  • Mon
  • 18°C
  • 12°C
  • Tue
  • 14°C
  • 8°C
  • Wed
  • 14°C
  • 6°C
  • Thu
  • 14°C
  • 8°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 7°C
  • Mon
  • 24°C
  • 9°C
  • Tue
  • 25°C
  • 9°C
  • Wed
  • 25°C
  • 9°C
  • Thu
  • 24°C
  • 7°C
  • Fri
  • 22°C
  • 6°C
  • Mon
  • 23°C
  • 3°C
  • Tue
  • 22°C
  • 5°C
  • Wed
  • 23°C
  • 4°C
  • Thu
  • 15°C
  • 1°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 0°C
  • Mon
  • 27°C
  • 8°C
  • Tue
  • 32°C
  • 8°C
  • Wed
  • 19°C
  • 9°C
  • Thu
  • 29°C
  • 8°C
  • Fri
  • 20°C
  • 7°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 13°C
  • Tue
  • 15°C
  • 7°C
  • Wed
  • 12°C
  • 6°C
  • Thu
  • 14°C
  • 9°C
  • Fri
  • 17°C
  • 8°C

DBE: Mandatory COVID-19 testing implemented in KZN marking centre

Three other markers that were in close contact with the deceased at the Escort Marking Centre also tested positive.

FILE: Matric 2020 exam paper markers. Picture: Department of Basic Education.

JOHANNESBURG/DURBAN - The Department of Basic Education (DBE) on Monday said mandatory COVID-19 testing had been implemented at a KwaZulu-Natal marking centre after one person died from the virus.

Three other markers that were in close contact with the deceased at the Escort Marking Centre also tested positive.

The department said about 238 markers had contracted the virus nationally and had since been replaced.

Education officials gave an update earlier today on the progress of marking of the matric final exams.

Director of National Examinations Priscilla Ogunbanjo said: “The province is already doing mandatory testing of all the markers at the Escort and to my knowledge, they had already tested the markers there.”

Meanwhile, health authorities in KwaZulu-Natal say the exponential increase in COVID-19 cases had put a severe strain on both public and private health facilities.

This has prompted initiatives to establish temporary structures outside hospitals.

KZN has the highest number of active coronavirus cases in the country at over 92,000 and there are warnings that the worst is yet to come.

Provincial Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said most of the coronavirus infections in the province were picked up at gatherings during the festive season.

“Our recovery rate is quite slow; the reason for that is that the second wave hit us in one go. As a province, we are generally overwhelmed with the infections, not just the public sector but the private sector too.”

Despite the high infection rate, the province has not yet reached its peak as health expert professor Mosa Moshabela explained.

“I would say that in KZN, we are not quite seeing it yet. We are clearly seeing it in the Eastern Cape, in the Western Cape. I think we will have a better understanding of KZN’s cases in a week or so.”

Simelane-Zulu has called on residents to ensure adherence to COVID-19 protocols in a bid to slow the spread of the virus, saying this would reduce pressure on health facilities.

ENOUGH MARKERS

The department said it had more than enough stand in markers to ensure the marking of the 2020 matric final exam scripts was not delayed.

The department said 94% of the over 46,000 markers appointed have reported for duty; 238 markers withdrew after testing positive for COVID-19.

It said it was satisfied with the number of reserve markers to assist where there may be a shortage.

Ogunbanjo said: “For these declines and shortages, the plan was already that each province will appoint a minimum of 10%-15% of reserve markers for every paper.”

But Ogunbanjo said they were worried that the Western Cape had more than 600 markers withdraw.

“And 609 out of that number is about 18%. Actually, that’s one of the only provinces that goes beyond 10% withdrawals. Most of the other provinces range between 6% and 7%.”

The department said it expected most provinces to conclude marking before the end of next week.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device