Namibia: 732 Covid-19 Cases At Learning Institutions

15 September 2020

TWO schools in the Oshana region and one in the //Kharas region have suspended face-to-face classes after positive cases of the novel coronavirus were confirmed at these institutions.

Minister of health and social services Kalumbi Shangula yesterday during the daily Covid-19 briefing said out of the 9 818 confirmed cases the country has recorded, 732 involve teachers, students and pupils in 12 regions.

This accounts for 7% of the total number of confirmed cases.

Shangula said 632 of the 732 cases comprise pupils and students, and 100 are teachers.

He said the Khomas region reported the majority of these cases with 400 (55%), followed by the Erongo region with 149 (20%) while the Hardap and //Kharas regions recorded 27 (4%) and 24 (3%), respectively.

Few cases were reported from other regions, except Kavango West and Kunene, which recorded none.

"We continue monitoring the situation in schools and advise the education sector appropriately," Shangula said.

The Oshana region's education directorate has ordered the temporary closure of two schools this week after a pupil and a teacher tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The two schools, Iipumbu Secondary School and Erundu Combined School, will remain closed until further notice in an effort to combat the further spread of the virus and to allow for cleaning and disinfection.

Hilma Nuunyango-George, the acting deputy education director of the Oshana region, said teachers at these schools have all been placed in isolation while boarding pupils have been placed under quarantine in the school hostels.

"We did not release them to go back home, because we want them to remain there, while we monitor them on a daily basis, and also to continue with their learning under the supervision of their teachers," she said.

Erundu Combined School suspended face-to-face learning on 4 September due to a confirmed Covid-19 case among pupils, while Iipumbu Secondary School temporarily closed last week after a teacher tested positive.

Nuunyango-George said all the schools in the region are ready to resume teaching for all grades.

The directorate has decided to divide pupils into two groups so that the groups attend classes on alternating days.

"We are coping so far, apart from the two schools that are closed at the moment. All our pupils have been provided with masks and are sanitised before they enter the school grounds," she said.

PK de Villiers High School at Keetmanshoop also suspended classes yesterday after a teacher and a Grade 12 pupil tested positive.

School principal Pieter Skeyer confirmed the school could not continue with teaching and learning yesterday morning due to the confirmed cases.

Skyer said the teacher informed the school of her positive test result.

"We have not yet received any official confirmation regarding the Grade 12 pupil's Covid-19 status," he said.

Skyer said health authorities will guide the school on the resumption of classes and decontamination.

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