Nurses Called In As 100 Pupils Test Covid-19 Positive

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By Matabeleland North Correspondent

Ntabazinduna: Health officials have sent nurses to be stationed at John Tallach Secondary School after the number of learners who tested Covid-19 positive rose to 100.

Acting Matabeleland North provincial medical director Munekai Padingani confirmed the development.

He said they were initially called to test five pupils and the results were positive.

“For now, the number remains at 100 and more tests are being conducted. By Monday, 100 pupils had tested positive, 73 of them with mild symptoms while the other 27 are asymptomatic,” he said.

Padingani said the school had been cordoned off and no visitors were allowed in.

The school development committee (SDC) has also moved in to assist the administration and health officials to enforce Covid-19 regulations.

Investigations are underway to establish the source of the virus but there are suspicions it may have been imported from Bulawayo after a pupil is said to have visited the city to attend a family funeral.

As a result, Matabeleland North province now has the second-highest number of active cases with 112 after Bulawayo which has 126. The country’s cumulative positive cases now stand at 8 897 after 68 new cases on Monday.

The school has since stopped all non-examination classes from returning following the outbreak.

Examination classes resumed lessons on September 28 while Grade 6, Form 3 and Form 5 classes reopened on October 26. The rest reopened last week on November 9 but some from John Tallach who had not returned to school were stopped from coming back because of the situation.

The school has an enrolment of 670 pupils and testing is underway for the whole school with reports some staff members had also tested positive.

A satellite clinic that has been established within the school and has been equipped with necessary healthcare materials while the medical staff is on standby to test and treat, said Padingani.

Those that tested positive are isolated within the school premises.

Some schools especially in Bulawayo have responded by introducing alternating timetables where pupils will attend classes on selected days to give each other space in line with social distancing regulations.

Most school authorities told parents that pupils will be required to attend learning twice a week as parents have become concerned about children’s health at schools in light of a new wave of the pandemic.