Nyamandlovu — George Silundika High School in Matabeleland North has become the latest learning institution to be hit by a Covid-19 outbreak after more than 40 students have tested positive.
This comes as Sino Hydro, a Chinese company contracted to expand Zimbabwe Power Company’s power plant in Hwange also recorded about 30 new cases after some prospective workers tested positive recently.
The workers were found positive during a routine testing of all people who visited the premises as per company policy.
The job seekers had responded to an advert on vacancies that had arisen within the firm.
As for George Silundika, health authorities have transformed the Nyamandlovu school into an isolation centre as they were intending to test everyone within the school.
The new cases were discovered last week when one student showed signs and upon testing, turned to be positive.
This prompted health officials to visit the school for contact tracing and five of his contacts tested positive.
A decision was made to test everyone at the school and more than 40 had tested positive as of Tuesday after tests on half of the learners so far.
This becomes the second learning institution to have a huge number of learners testing positive to the pandemic after John Tallach in the same Umguza District was hit by the virus last year, leading to premature closure of schools.
Umguza and Hwange districts account for the bigger number of cases that have been reported in the province because of proximity to Bulawayo and the country’s borders.
Matabeleland North Provincial Medical Director Dr Munekai Padingani told journalists that testing of the whole school was underway.
“Initially, it was one student and we sent a team to investigate and do contact tracing and five came out positive. We are now testing everyone at the school and there are 44 cases now. We have put an isolation centre at the school,” said Dr Padingani.
No other school has reported cases in the province.
Elsewhere, Catholic Church run Embakwe and Sacred Heart in Matabeleland South, St David’s Bonda Girls High in Manicaland as well as Mzilikazi in Bulawayo have had outbreaks this term.
Last year, it was John Tallach where scores of learners tested positive resulting in the institution being turned into an isolation centre.
On Wednesday, Matabeleland North had 85 active cases, with a cumulative 1 364 cases and 18 deaths.
By New Zimbabwe.