Govt dismisses alleged Covid-19 outbreak at Gweru school

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Harare(New Ziana)-Government on Friday allayed fears of a Covid-19 outbreak at Nashville High School in Gweru, Midlands Province, saying instead, the alleged cases were of students infected with a mild flu.
Pictures of a small group of students who were lying on the floor went viral on social media this week, prompting wild rumours that there was a Covid-19 outbreak at the school.
But, Health and Child Care permanent secretary Dr Jasper Chimedza said the pictures that are circulating on social media are those of seven male students who took pictures of each other basking in the sun while waiting to be taken to a Clinic after they had complained of flu-like symptoms.
And, following tests the students were found to be negative of COVID-19.
The school has 192 borders, 628 day scholars and 38 teachers.
“The Ministry of Health and Child Care wishes to inform parents and all concerned stakeholders that there are no cases of Covid-19 at Nashville High School in Gweru. Investigations conducted at the school today by the Provincial Covid-19 rapid response team led by the Provincial Medical Director have indicated that there are 16 cases of mild flu among the school children who are all boarders,” he said.
“All boarders have been tested for Covid-19 and are all negative. The 38 teachers were also tested for Covid-19 and are all negative. Testing for day scholars is in progress.”
Dr Chimedza added; “All the seven boys were seen at Totonga Clinic and treated for mild respiratory tract infections, the seven are also part of the 192 students seen and tested for Covid-19 today and are negative.”
He said health officials had also followed up on three parents who had taken their children home during the week and none had reported any of the children as having symptoms of Covid-19.
He encouraged all parents with children at the school to remain calm.
“In the event that there is an outbreak of Covid-19 at any school, parents are advised not to withdraw their children from the school as this promotes the spread of the infection. Children are isolated or quarantined and treated at the school at no cost to the parents.”
New Ziana

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