One hundred students at John Tamach Secondary School in Matabeleland North have tested positive for coronavirus prompting authorities to put a satellite clinic within the school for further testing.
The acting provincial medical director for Matabeleland North, Dr Munekayi Padingani, said tests were still ongoing adding that the numbers could rise. The school has an enrolment of 670 pupils. e said:
The school is quarantined. No-one is going in or out. Classes are closed. We have put a satellite clinic inside the school and our staff are staying there to test and treat. We now have an isolation centre on site. We are putting the pupils in clusters – those who are positive are put in one room; the negative in another room; those who are sick but tested negative in another room and those who have been tested are put in another room while waiting for results.
We did our own investigations. You know in Bulawayo people are going to South Africa clandestinely and coming back. One of the students went there to bury his father illegally and came back. We’re not sure if it’s that student who brought the disease. The problem started when they opened for the Lower Sixth and Form 3 classes on October 26.
Health officials said 73 of the affected pupils were asymptomatic, while 27 had mild symptoms. Two teachers have also tested positive.
The outbreak forced the school into lockdown last week after six pupils were found to have higher than normal temperature before five subsequently tested positive for the virus.
The school has an enrolment of 670 pupils.
When schools reopened on 28 September after they were prematurely closed in March following the outbreak of the coronavirus, stakeholders, mainly teachers, opposed the move saying schools were not ready.