ZIMBABWE continues to record an increase in Covid-19 cases with 39 more pupils testing positive at John Tallach High School in Ntabazinduna, Matabeleland North Province.
The new cases bring the total number of pupils who have tested Covid-19 positive at the school to 184.
Three Covid-19 deaths and 48 new infections were recorded in the country on Sunday with the national recovery rate now at 85.9 percent. Two of the deaths were reported in Bulawayo province while one was from Masvingo.
According to the Ministry of Health and Child Care, a majority of the new cases were recorded in Matabeleland North Province following the John Tallach outbreak. The school with an enrollment of 623 pupils had 145 pupils testing positive last week. After another round of testing over the weekend 39 more tested positive.
Despite the rising Covid-19 cases at learning institutions, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education says schools are strictly following regulations put in place to curb the spread of Covid-19 which has killed 268 Zimbabweans so far.
Under the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), hugs, handshakes and sharing of desks are not permitted in schools.
Break and lunch time must be staggered to prevent crowding by learners while sporting activities are banned. A classroom should only accommodate a maximum of 35 pupils to allow for social distancing.
Acting Matabeleland North Provincial Medical Director Dr Munekayi Padingani said yesterday:
“At John Tallach, the figure is now at 184 who have tested positive after testing the whole school. Those who are positive are going to be isolated, and discharged based on the national guidelines. And the rest have to be retested and we shall do it the same day. There are 400 who are negative, and we shall retest this coming Sunday. So, all the learners are at school, with the positive ones in isolation and those who tested negative in quarantine.”
He said at George Silundika High School, two health workers at the clinic tested positive for Covid-19.
“There were two health workers at George Silundika clinic that tested positive for Covid-19. The contact tracing has been done and no one is positive. The son of one of the workers who was sick stays with them. He tested positive.
However, at the school no one is positive,” said Dr Padingani.
Two weeks ago, Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga who is also the Minister of Health and Child Care warned of the possibility of the country being hit by a second wave of Covid-19 saying ignorance, denial and wishful thinking could lead to more deaths.
Schools have become the latest institutions to be hit by the virus after their phased reopening which started on September 28.