Over 140 Covid positive learners kept on Oshakati SSS premises
23 October 2020 | Health
A total of 144 Oshakati Senior Secondary School pupils who have tested positive for Covid-19 are being kept at the school dormitories, with the principal saying they need masks and sanitisers to fight the pandemic.
The school, which is home to 1 126 pupils, recorded its first case on 9 October and discontinued classes on 16 October when the situation worsened.
Namibian Sun visited the school yesterday and observed that pupils who have not tested positive for the virus are now accommodated in classrooms, while those who have tested positive are being kept in the school hostel.
Principal Josua Shilongo said the virus caught them unaware and although they felt overwhelmed at the beginning when the news broke, they are managing it now.
He said they have not yet received official communication to have classes suspended despite their request. Out of its own volition, the school has suspended classes until further notice.
'Spreading among pupils'
“The problem with Covid-19 is that you cannot see it spreading. Before contact tracing was done, the virus has been moving and spreading amongst the pupils. The ministry requested for mass testing and 30% of the pupils tested positive,” he said.
Shilongo said the pupils who tested positive for the coronavirus do not need intense medical treatment as they are asymptomatic, with only three having presented symptoms. These three received medical treatment and have since been discharged.
The school recorded two recoveries and has not recorded new cases since Wednesday.
The principal said the school needs protective clothing for teachers and cleaners, an electrical kettle for the pupils as there is no warm water in the hostel and food for to boost the infected pupils' immune systems.
While oral exams were scheduled to start on Wednesday, they have been postponed to today – if the school manages to procure the glass ceiling needed to shield both pupils and teachers during the process.
When Namibian Sun visited the school, head boy Henok Nghipangelwa and a friend Tomas Kandali were seated outside the school office, waiting for their mathematics teacher.
While his results came back negative, what worries Nghipangelwa is the current arrangement the school has implemented.
He said they have to eat at the same dining hall as those who have not been tested and those with pending results as the school has no more room to accommodate pupils.
“This has not been easy on us as learners, but we remain optimistic. Some who tested negative want to go home as they feel they are at risk, but because we cannot leave, can we please get assistance with the masks? Some masks do not look like masks any more, so they are definitely not helping,” he said.
Nghipangwelwa urged Namibians to follow the Covid-19 protocols put in place by the government to prevent the further spread of the virus.
'We need immune boosters'
Amor Diaz (17), a Grade 11 pupil, has tested positive for the virus. He spoke to Namibian Sun through the window.
Diaz joked that he is not sick and hardly feels any pain as they have received medication from Oshakati State Hospital. When the pandemic started, he would exercise daily hoping to strengthen his immune system and never thought he would be infected, he said.
He shares Nghipangelwa's sentiments - they need masks and sanitisers.
“We also need immune boosters as we currently only exercise three times a week. We have nothing else to do here. Today (Thursday) marks Day 10. I am advising fellow learners to stay safe. The virus does not favor. Be positive and focus on obeying the regulations, you will be fine,” he said, adding that they are currently preparing for examinations, scheduled for 12 November.