Thandeka Moyo-Ndlovu, Health Reporter
THE Government has asked Esikhoveni Training Centre to second some of its staff to cook for learners at Sacred Heart following a Covid-19 outbreak which also affected the school’s cooking staff.
As of Tuesday, there were a total of 234 Covid-19 cases at the school in Esigodini, Matabeleland South province.
Of the affected, none have been critical and the Ministry of Health and Child Care officials are on the ground to stabilise the situation.
The development has led to a majority of staff going on isolation after testing positive, including cooks which left the school with no one to cook for the learners.
Through the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, the school has since engaged Esikhoveni Training Centre to be cooking while the rest of the teachers, pupils and staff members are recovering from Covid-19.
The ministry’s director of communications and advocacy Mr Taungana Ndoro said learners were in good health.
“The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has engaged Esikhoveni Training Centre to provide cooks to cater for our learners. All is well for now and we will continue monitoring the situation to ensure nothing goes amiss,” he said.
Zanu-PF Umzingwane legislator Brigadier General (Retired) Levi Mayihlome said the situation was under control.
He said very few of the infected learners have mild symptoms and the rest are all stable.
“Those teachers who tested negative are assisting with food preparation together with Esikhoveni Training Centre which has been engaged to help. Daily updates on the situation are being given through the District Schools Inspector who in turn is informing SDCs who are keeping parents well informed about everything happening on the ground,” said Cde Mayihlome.
“The WHO representatives and the provincial Ministry of Health and Child Care officials are also on the ground assisting with monitoring.
The environmental health technicians are monitoring the movement of the children to ensure social distancing is practised throughout hence there is no cause for concern, at least for now,” he said.
Cde Mayihlome said given the number of affected staff and pupils, the school administration is not functioning normally.
“Challenges on management of pupils are bound to arise but there is nothing so far which should make us panic. Parents are urged to closely liaise with their SDCs and School Heads for general updates so that they get accurate and reliable information,” he said.
“As Umzingwane community, we stand with Sacred Heart Home Schools during this difficult period and pray for their speedy recovery. We also fully understand the parents and public concerns and hope the unfortunate situation will soon come to pass.”
Cabinet on Tuesday attributed the easy detection of the outbreak at the school to the strong Covid-19 surveillance system being implemented in schools.
Response activities that include contact tracing and strengthening of all Standard Operating Procedures and guidelines are in progress as the country continues to work towards fighting the spread of the global [email protected]