Pupil exposed to Covid-19 spits on desks

Learner goes on spitting spree at school while awaiting corona test results

30 July 2020 | Health

KENYA KAMBOWE

RUNDU

A Grade 11 learner at Mupewa Combined School at Oshikuku in the Omusati Region, who had been in close contact with a Covid-19 patient, went on a spitting spree in his classroom on Monday while waiting for his test results.

School principal Steven Nelumbu said the learner spat on all the desks in the classroom and on the door handle.

Nelumbu said the information about the spitting spree was shared with the school management hours after the school had decided to isolate six learners who had been in contact with the said learner.

Nelumbu said they then decided on Tuesday not to allow any grade 11 learners back onto the school premises.

Classes suspended

Their parents were informed what had happened and that face-to-face classes would be suspended until the environment was safe for their return.

Nelumbu said if the learners’ test results are negative, they would be allowed to return to school next Monday.

If any of them test positive, the school’s next step would be guided by the town’s coronavirus task force.

Nelumbu said the learner confessed that he was a friend of the Covid-19 patient reported at Oshikuku last week, and that they had drunk from the same beer bottle recently.

Asked whether disciplinary steps would be taken against the learner, Nelumbu said that would depend on the test results.

Not yet tested

Yesterday afternoon, Nelumbu said the learners sent home to self-isolate had not yet been tested, although the Covid-19 task force had been informed about the incident on Monday.

Their parents apparently only received calls yesterday morning that the learners would be picked up and tested.

“We at the school are now concerned about all this. It cannot be right, as we reported the matter to them on Monday yet on Wednesday the children are still at home and not yet tested,” Nelumbu argued.

Nelumbu said they hoped that the leaners would test negative and that teaching could resume.

Cases continue to pile up

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula yesterday afternoon announced 69 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the country’s total number of confirmed cases to 1 986.

Of the new cases, 57 are from Walvis Bay, while Windhoek recorded eight new cases, including one at the Suiderhof military base. Swakopmund, Usakos, Mariental and Engela all recorded one case each.

Shangula also announced the death of a 44-year-old woman from Walvis Bay, who had underlying chronic conditions, bringing the country’s death toll to nine.