by Adam Hartman
AT least 11 pupils from the three different high schools at Swakopmund tested positive for Covid-19 over the weekend.
What complicates the issue is that all the infected children are boarders at the Namib High School hostel, which serves as a collective boarding facility for pupils from different high schools at the coastal town.
While the health ministry on Sunday confirmed that Swakopmund had 23 new infections, and that 11 of these were from Namib High School, Erongo education director Erenfriede Stephanus told The Namibian yesterday that this is not entirely correct as the 11 are accommodated at the same hostel, with four from Namib High and seven from other schools.
She said the schools where the other seven are from has to be confirmed, but mentioned the possibility of them coming from Swakopmund Secondary School and Atlantic High Schools – two the of the three biggest public secondary schools at Swakopmund.
“We are following up and maintaining the emergency protocols to establish the extent of the infections. Schools may have to be closed to be santitised, while pupils will have to stay at home,” she said, adding that Namib High School was closed yesterday morning “for the time being”.
The 11 pupils have been isolated in a separate buildingat the hostel.
Stephanus said that one of the biggest problems is the ‘out-weekend’ of hostel children, in which they are allowed to leave the hostel to stay with relatives and friends. This increases the risk of spreading the virus.
She said that contact tracing had been instituted immediately.