Namibia: Mass Testing At School After Pupil Tests Positive

The Oshana education directorate has temporarily closed Mweshipandeka Secondary School after one of its pupils tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday.

A team of health officials will be dispatched to the school to conduct mass testing on all pupils, teachers and workers.

All hostel boarders will be quarantined for four days or until the results of all pupils are released and they are cleared of Covid-19.

Oshana education director Hileni Amukana in a press release said the regional Covid-19 task force is in charge of the situation and will provide the directorate with psychosocial support and advice on case management.

"This [the affected] pupil will continue to be in a quarantine facility, while receiving both medical and psychological support," she said.

Amukana said non-hostel pupils will remain at home and will receive support and learning material.

Teachers will remain on duty, preparing learning materials for pupils.

"Cleaning and disinfection . . . will take place, including classrooms, dormitories, offices, door and window handles, kitchen and food preparation areas, counter tops, bathroom surfaces, toilets and taps, touchscreen devices, computer keyboards and work surfaces.

" . . . The school should enforce regular hand washing with clean water and soap, alcohol-based sanitiser or chlorine solution and, at a minimum, daily disinfection and cleaning of school surfaces," said Amukana.

She urged pupils not to stigmatise anyone testing positive for Covid-19 as the virus does not discriminate.

"Dear pupils, in a situation like this, it is normal to feel sad, worried, confused, scared or angry. Know that you are not alone, and talk to someone you trust, like your parents or teachers so that you can help keep yourself and your school safe and healthy.

"Protect yourself and others. Wash your hands frequently, always with soap and water at least for 20 seconds. Do not share cups, cutlery, food or drinks with others," she said.

The school will be informed on the way forward by 6 July, she said.

The male pupil (20) who tested positive allegedly travelled to Walvis Bay during the lockdown and returned to the region to resume face-to-face learning on 5 June.

He was boarding at the hostel before he was put in quarantine by education authorities.

The pupil was tested on 22 June and his results came out positive on Monday.

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