By Thandeka Moyo-Ndlovu
The Ministry of Health and Child Care has castigated false reports of a Form Four pupil from Matopo High School who according to social media rumours succumbed to Covid-19 on Saturday.
The girl who presented Covid-19 like symptoms at school was rushed to Bulawayo on Friday and died on Saturday afternoon at her Nketa home.
Despite rumours that the girl had succumbed to the global pandemic, the ministry said the girl tested Covid-19 negative posthumously.
The development forced the school authorities to postpone the return of Form Three and Five pupils who were supposed to return to the school yesterday ahead of the reopening today.
Bulawayo acting provincial medical director Dr Welcome Mlilo said the girl did not die of a Covid-19 related illness.
“I can confirm that the pupil from Matopo High School in question did not die from a Covid-19 related illness. The Bulawayo City Rapid Response Team collaborating with physicians from United Bulawayo Hospitals have investigated this death and the Covid-19 test is negative.”
Contacted for comment, the Matabeleland South provincial education director Mr Lifas Masukume directed all questions to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education spokesperson Mr Taungana Ndoro.
Mr Ndoro could not be reached on his mobile as his mobile was not reachable.However, in a message sent to parents, Matopo High School headmaster Mr Gardson Sibanda said he had consulted the Education Ministry on the Phase 2 reopening following the death of the pupil.
“In light of the untimely death of one of our learners, I wish to officially inform you that the permanent secretary of Education has granted Matopo High school a waiver to reopen on Wednesday 28 October 2020 pending the outcome of the post-mortem results of our dearly departed learner. Therefore, there will be no travelling of learners on the 25th October 2020, until clearance has been granted,” said Mr Sibanda.
A Form Four pupil at a Bulawayo school recently tested positive for Covid-19 resulting in her contacts who include her classmates, being forced to self-isolate at home.
The pupil is part of the exam classes pupils that resumed lessons on September 28 to prepare for Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) examinations which are set to start on December 1. The girl’s Covid-19 positive results were confirmed last Tuesday and school authorities immediately followed laid down measures meant to curb the spread of the pandemic. The Chronicle.