John Tallach High School Covid-19 Infections Under Control
5 December 2020
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State Media

ABOUT 160 pupils who had been infected by the deadly Covid-19 at John Tallach High School in Ntabazinduna, Matabeleland North, have recovered.

The more than 185 Covid-19 cases at John Tallach are the highest that a single school has recorded since the outbreak of Covid-19 in Zimbabwe.

By November 24, the cases had run into 185 which pushed up the total number of Covid-19 cases in Matabeleland North Province.

On Wednesday, 181 new cases and three deaths were reported in Zimbabwe, bringing the total number of active cases to 1 390.

Of the new cases, 178 are local cases and 3 are returnees from Algeria and the deaths were reported in Bulawayo and Manicaland provinces.

The country also recorded 83 new recoveries and the national recovery rate stands at 84.7 percent.

The John Tallach recoveries have been absorbed in daily statistics since the virus was reported at the school about two weeks ago.

As of December 3, Zimbabwe had recorded 10 424 cases, 8 754 recoveries and 280 deaths.

Since the outbreak, Bulawayo has recorded 2 466 cases, 1 820 recoveries and 82 deaths while Matabeleland North has recorded 366 cases, 333 recoveries and three deaths.

On the other hand, Matabeleland South has 1 059 cases, 888 recoveries and nine deaths.

Bulawayo has the highest number of active cases in Zimbabwe at 564 while Matabeleland North has 33.

Schools have become the latest institutions to be hit by the virus after their phased reopening which started on September 28.

Acting Matabeleland North Provincial Medical Director Dr Munekayi Padingani said pupils were stable and the situation was under control.

“The situation at John Tallach is under control, we have since discharged 160 pupils who have tested negative after we conducted retests. After testing about 450 pupils at the school only one tested positive and we are just left with retesting another 60 pupils but they are all stable,” said Dr Padingani.

He said the provincial cases had gone down following the recoveries at John Tallach adding that the new cases were now emanating from truck drivers.

“Our cases have gone down and the latest ones are from Victoria Falls and Lupane especially truck drivers following the reopening of the borders. We continuously urge everyone to think about the next person and practice good hand hygiene and social distancing to stop the spread of Covid-19,” he added.

Dr Padingani said the Ministry will also look into testing people entering the border of Covid-19 as they could be infected after acquiring certificates.

Meanwhile, two pupils tested positive at Thekwane High School in Plumtree, Matabeleland South.

The latest cases are an addition to Matopo High School which was turned into a quarantine centre to prevent the further spreading of the virus after 10 cases were recorded.

Mtshabezi High School within the same province also recorded 17 Covid-19 cases this week including two teachers and two workers.

Matabeleland South Provincial Medical Director, Dr Rudo Chikodzore said they were working flat out to control the situation.

She said she was yet to get an update on Thekwane and urged community members to self-introspect as a way of stopping the spread of Covid-19.

“I believe that the new cases that we are continuously recording are a result of effective rapid response teams who have gone round and made follow ups on suspected infections. We are doing everything in our power to ensure that we save lives but this issue now depends on communities whose behaviours will greatly decide if we will have more new cases or a decline,” said Dr Chikodzore.

She said she is yet to establish the total number of pupils that have been affected in her province.

“We really need to reach out to communities and engage them on what can be done to stop the spread because it is clear that people are not adhering to the set measures. We however continue encouraging members of the public to wash their hands, wear masks, practice social distancing and avoid travelling unnecessarily.”

Dr Chikodzore said some of the new cases in her province were fuelled by the reopening of the borders in Matabeleland South which has seen an influx of travellers into the country.