Thursday, 29 April 2021


THE Ministry of Health and Child Care has established an isolation centre at George Silundika High School in Nyamandlovu, Matabeleland North after 44 pupils and staff tested positive to Covid-19.

This becomes the second learning institution to have a huge number of learners test positive to the coronavirus after John Tallach in the same Umguza District was hit by the pandemic last year leading to premature closure of schools.

Government has set up Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that have proved effective in dealing with covid outbreaks at learning institutions.

Umguza and Hwange districts account for most of the cases that have been reported in the province because of proximity to Bulawayo and the country’s borders.

Matabeleland North provincial Medical Director Dr Munekai Padingani yesterday said everyone at the school is being tested and 350 which is half the population of learners and staff has been tested so far.

He said one pupil started showing symptoms last week and tested positive resulting in all contacts being tested.

“It started with one case of a student and we sent a Rapid Results Team from Nyamandlovu and then we tested contacts and five came out positive. We decided to test all of them and we are now testing everyone and one teacher was positive also although we are still waiting for consolidation of yesterday’s statistics. We want to test the whole school and so far we have tested 350 which is half and we have 44 cases. Just like we did at John Tallach we have put an isolation centre there,” said Dr Padingani.

He said some of the cases are symptomatic while others are not. George Silundika is the only school with new cases in the province, he said.

The province was hard hit by Covid-19 last year when pupils and staff at John Tallach tested positive resulting in premature closure of schools.

Lately, a number of schools have recorded Covid-19 cases countrywide with Embakwe High School in Mangwe District in Matabeleland South recording 91 cases recently, and Sacred Heart in Esigodini in the same province recording more than 230 cases while St David’s Bonda Girls High in Manicaland had outbreak initially reported on April 17.

Dr Padingani encouraged schools to continually adhere to set health standards to avoid infections and news cases.

Meanwhile, health workers in the province are also carrying out investigations at Sino Hydro in Hwange where 25 job seekers tested positive last week.

The company which is contracted to expand Hwange Power Station Unit 7 and 8 was recruiting new workers and as per policy all prospective job seekers were tested and 18 came out positive.

Five more tested positive on Saturday bringing the number to 25 although all are either asymptomatic and have mild symptoms, according to Hwange District Medical Officer Dr Fungai Musinami-Mvura.

Matabeleland North has 85 active cases after recording 32 new cases on Tuesday. The province has recorded 1 364 cases and 18 deaths since the first cases was reported in March last year.

The Province has vaccinated close to 40 000 people. Chronicle


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