Tighter controls for Covid-19 in schools

Source: Tighter controls for Covid-19 in schools | Herald (Top Stories)

Mr Ndoro

Rumbidzayi Zinyuke

Senior Health Reporter

WITH schools set to close this week, all learners who will test positive to Covid-19 will go into isolation in Government facilities or at home depending on the severity of their condition, as a precautionary measure to avoid spreading the disease in communities.

According to the new school calendar, schools and teachers’ colleges will close for a three-week break on Friday and resume classes on June 29.

Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education spokesperson Mr Taungana Ndoro told The Herald that all learners who would not have recovered by this week, would be handed over to the Ministry of Health and Child Care for further management.

“So far we have recorded 90 percent recoveries in our schools and we hope that by Friday, all learners will have fully recovered and they can all go home,” he said. 

“In the event that we still have Covid-19 positive cases, we will hand them over to the Ministry of Health and Child Care for further management.”

The country has been battling the pandemic in institutions of learning over the past few months, with the latest cases detected at Bondolfi Teachers’ College in Masvingo last week.

So far, 94 students and six members of the teaching staff at Bondolfi have tested positive, while massive testing of the remaining 345 students is ongoing.

A localised lockdown has been declared for Bondolfi to ensure the pandemic is not spread further.

This comes as Government has controlled the spread of the pandemic within primary and secondary schools that have been reporting cases for the past two months. The country has 39 learners in primary and secondary schools who are still Covid-19 positive out of the 600 who were infected.

Of these 600 cases, Matabeleland South province had 252 cases at Sacred Heart Primary and Secondary Schools and another 156 at Embakwe High School. 

In Manicaland, 216 learners and seven staff at St David’s Bonda High School also tested positive, while another 46 cases were detected at George Silundika Secondary School in Matabeleland North.

Health and Child Care Ministry spokesman Mr Donald Mujiri said once schools close, the Ministry would take over to assess the learners who would still be positive.

“As per the Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedures, the Ministry of Health will assess the cases to determine the course of action,” he said. 

“Authorities can either recommend home isolation for asymptomatic cases or isolation in institutions for severe cases.” 

Mr Mujiri said the situation at Bondolfi Teachers’ College was being monitored as all students on campus had been declared as potential contacts.

“Bondolfi College has been declared as a hotspot for the district, hence all the 345 students have to be put on quarantine for 14 days,” he said. 

“No visitor will be allowed into the campus until the situation is stable unless the visit is an emergency authorised by responsible authorities.” 

As a result, all lectures at the institutions have been suspended.

Government has warned the public not to become complacent and continue to adhere to Covid-19 guidelines to reduce the rate of infection.