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Covid-19: Jitters after school dinner dance

Some school heads in Bulawayo are working overtime to prevent Covid-19 outbreaks at their institutions after some of their pupils attended a dinner dance at Girls College.

BY SILAS NKALA

Girls College closed last week after a
Covid-19 case, which was detected after the school held a leavers’ party for Upper Six students.

On Friday, one of the top city schools said it had sent one Lower 6th pupil and “several Upper 6th Form students that attended a dinner dance, which was also attended by students from another school, who tested Covid-19 positive”.

The affected students and their siblings have been ordered to stay home for 14 days.

“Please note that the event in question took place outside school arrangements,” wrote the school head to parents.

“Subsequently, the school has taken the following preventative measures: Identified student who attended the event,” reads the letter.

“The [pupils], who have been instructed to go into self-isolation at home, will continue with their lessons online.

“We would like to express our deepest appreciation to those parents, who voluntarily informed the school about their Covid -19 positive status for exercising a great sense of civic responsibility.

“We look forward to a continuation of this kind of cooperation for our common good.

“We need each other as we battle our common enemy each and every single day.”

Primary and Secondary Education ministry spokesperson Taungana Ndoro said he was yet to receive information about the latest Covid-19 scare at Bulawayo schools.

“We have not yet received such information about the school in question, but what we can say is that when children are outside the school, especially day scholars, parents must take responsibility for their children,” Ndoro said.

“What we do as a ministry is we ensure that we have standard procedures of what should be done at school to prevent the spread of the disease.

“But the moment the pupils leave school the onus is with the parents to take charge.”

Ndoro said they were doing the best they could to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

“Only about 0,05% of schools have been affected out of the 9 625 schools that we have,” he said.

“The majority of schools we have managed to ensure the safety of children and our success story is at 99, 95%.

“Yes, we are not 100% safe, but for us to be successful, we need parents to be vigilant and we want all hands on deck to ensure that everyone follows preventative measures.”

Bulawayo provincial medical director Welcome Mlilo could not be reached for comment.

The Health and Child Care ministry recently said there were 184 children, who contracted Covid-19 at John Tallach High School in Ntabazinduna where at least 607 students and teachers are quarantined.

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