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As staff of the Kwebanna Primary School secondary top begin preparations for the reopening of school for Grades 10 and 11 classes, village leaders at the North West District village have made it mandatory for COVID-19 testing to be undertaken before the school’s doors are reopened.
Kwebanna recorded dozens of COVID-19 cases earlier this month, more than 80 positive cases, forcing the village council to enforce a mandatory lockdown which expires this weekend. Two COVID casualties,including a former school teacher, were also recorded at the village.
The school’s administrators were expected to resume teaching at the school last week, however, teachers remained at home while parents of more than 40 students of Grades 10 and 11, remain hesitant about sending their children to school. In addition, several teachers were fearful of being tested for the disease.
The school is without a sanitary facility for students and teachers to wash their hands on entering its compound and according to a villager, steps will have to be taken by the Education Ministry to ensure the school is ready for reopening. This includes sanitising the entire school and auxiliary facilities.
The Village Voice understands that the Regional Health Officer has not given the greenlight for the school to reopen and this week, a health team from Mabaruma, the region’s capital, is expected to visit the village to ensure all systems are in place for the school to reopen.
Meanwhile, across at Santa Rosa, there are fears that the reopening of the secondary school there last week may lead to another spread of the pandemic in that village. Reports are that a student who was staying at the dormitory was displaying symptoms of the disease in the days leading to the reopening of school last Monday. The student, who hails from a remote village of Santa Cruz, has been placed in quarantine.
Some students and their parents have openly voiced their concerns about the reopening of the school at the village which was a COVID-19 hotspot for weeks. Many have called for students and staff to be tested prior to the school’s doors being reopened.
Since the first case was recorded in March this year, 139 deaths attributed to the virus have been listed. The latest fatality was recorded on Sunday and according to the Ministry of Health, the victim has been identified as a 47 year old male of Region Seven.