by Hileni Nembwaya

The health and education authorities in the Oshikoto region are scrambling to contain a coronavirus outbreak at a secondary school after about 100 pupils tested positive for the virus.

Nehale Secondary School at Onayena near Ondangwa was temporarily closed down earlier this week as a result of a coronavirus outbreak among pupils at the school.

Health and social services minister Kalumbi Shangula on Monday said it was likely that there had been active transmission of the virus at the school for a while, but that it had not been noticed at first.

“Usually, young adults are generally asymptomatic or get mild symptoms. More results are still awaited,” he said.

On Monday, some 33 pupils at the school tested positive for the novel coronavirus, after 48 pupils had tested positive on Sunday.

Alleta Eises, Oshikoto regional education director, noted that the authorities are doing contact tracing while ensuring that all health and safety protocols are in place to curb a further spread of the virus.

“The pupils have been provided with psychological and mental health support. We have also dispatched a number of mattresses to the school because we have grouped the pupils in groups and we have also turned all the classrooms at the school into sleeping rooms. Those that have tested positive are kept in an isolated facility at the school, while those who are tested and waiting for their results are kept separately and those that have tested negative to the novel coronavirus are also kept in a separate facility at the school,” she said.

Eises added that the school has adequate ablution facilities and clean drinking water, but needs more ablution facilities as the pupils can no longer share the same toilets with those that have tested positive for the virus.

She called on parents and pupils not to panic and said the relevant authorities were doing their best to contain a further spreads of the virus.

“The pupils have all completed their syllabus and everything is under control. I call upon all pupils to continue wearing their face masks and maintain social distance at all times,” said Eises.

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