By Tatenda Chitagu
Government has suspended classes at Rujeko Primary School after two pupils tested positive for Covid-19, a government official said yesterday.
The Grade Seven pupils at Rujeko primary are among five family members who tested positive for the disease on Friday, according to Masvingo provincial Covid-19 taskforce spokesperson Rogers Irimai as well as the permanent secretary in the ministry of Information and Publicity, Ndabaningi Mangwana.
The new infections come at a time when most schools lack adequate personal protective equipment to avoid the spread of the highly infectious respiratory disease.
In a telephone interview yesterday, Irimai said only Grade Seven classes at the school had suspended lessons with pupils and the teachers undergoing self-quarantine at home while getting tested.
“The rapid response team recommended that all the Grade Seven classes have to go under quarantine while being tested. It is only the Grade Seven classes, and not the whole school, that will suspend learning for a period of time,” Irimai said.
Asked if it was not necessary to suspend lessons for the whole school and if the incident presented a challenge to the schools’ last phase re-opening in Masvingo, Primary and Secondary Education minister Cain Mathema said he was not even aware of the case that secretary Mangwana was referring to in his tweets on Friday evening.
“I do not know about that. I am hearing it from you. What do you want from me? Talk to the local leadership there, not me,” a furious Mathema shouted over the phone yesterday.
Non-examination classes, among them ECD to Grade Five pupils and Forms One and Two, resume classes tomorrow after the government adopted a phased school re-opening that started with examination classes on September 28.
Irimai said the Covid-19 rapid response team was busy doing contact tracing at the parents’ workplaces in the city, as well as the school where the two asymptomatic minors learn.
He urged Masvingo residents to remain vigilant and not drop guard because of the low new Covid-19 infections that the country was experiencing.