Covid-19 testing team activated for Rehoboth schools

OUTBREAK … Dr Lemmer High School at Rehoboth in the Hardap region has reported 20 new Covid-19 cases. Photo: File

The acting health director of the Hardap region, Dr Berit Platt, says regional health authorities have activated a mobile Covid-19 testing team to conduct rapid testing at school hostels at Rehoboth, after 20 pupils tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The pupils who tested positive are mainly from Dr Lemmer High School.

Platt said a Grade 2 teacher from St Joseph’s Primary School and a Grade 11 pupil from Dr Lemmer High School tested positive on the same day, while cases increased rapidly to 20 since 8 February.

Platt informed The Namibian on Saturday that pupils at two more schools, Acacia Primary School and JTL Beukes Primary School, also tested positive.

The total number of pupils who have tested positive for Covid-19 is currently being verified.

“On Friday we went to the hostels of Dr Lemmer High School and St Joseph’s Primary School to do testing on site to prevent people from coming to the hospital and standing in long queues. We informed the schools to implement all safety protocols concerning Covid-19 and to implement quarantine for five days,” said Platt.

He said the health authorities instructed the regional education directorate on Friday to postpone all inter-school sport activities planned for the week of 19 to 23 February and to enforce all Covid-19 health and safety protocols.

“The current Covid-19 situation at Rehoboth has increased at an alarming rate. Most of the cases are concentrated at Dr Lemmer High School with 20 confirmed cases since 8 February, of which 11 have recovered and 9 are active,” said Platt.

He called for continued protection and enforcement of Covid-19 safety measures such as the wearing of masks, sanitising and social distancing at schools while contact tracing and case searches to identify symptomatic and asymptomatic cases are done by the health authorities.

“We do not want people to panic. However, we need to be proactive since the strand found in the pathology reports indicate it is a Covid-19 strand. You can treat it as influenza but should the strand start mutating we do not know how strong it can be.

“Therefore we are avoiding mass gatherings to prevent4 cross infections because many of Rehoboth residents smoke, some are vaccinated and others not. We don’t want people to end up with long Covid,” said the health director.

“Maintaining vigilance, collaboration and adherence to public health guidelines are vital in preventing the spread of Covid-19 within the school and community”, Platt added.

“Collaboration between health authorities, schools and parents is essential for effective monitoring and management of the situation,” Platt said.

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