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MBABANE – The Ministry of Health will today test pupils and teachers of a school in the Hhohho Region for COVID-19.

This follows that confirmed case number nine, is a teacher at the school. The teacher is said to have returned from Durban, South Africa, where he shared a hotel with people who were from the OR Tambo International Airport. Upon returning to the country, in the second week of this month, the teacher interacted with pupils and his colleagues while he had flu-like symptoms. This was before he tested for the coronavirus. During this interaction, there is suspicion that some of people could have contracted the disease. Following the return of his results on Friday, the Senator Lizzy Nkosi-led Ministry of Health started contact-tracing of the people the teacher could have interacted with.


Nkosi said today, personnel from the ministry would be taking swabs of the teachers and pupils so that their samples could be sent to South Africa and get tested for the coronavirus.
She said once the tests were done, the ministry anticipated to have the results back on Thursday or Friday as it took a number of days for them to return to the country. In the interim, she said those who would be tested were going to be requested in self-quarantine for 14 days. During this period, Nkosi said all the suspected carriers of the virus would be advised to stay at home and not visit neighbours. “They should stay at home and practise safe hygiene. They should not panic but rather follow the hygienic etiquette when sneezing or coughing as laid down by the World Health Organisation (WHO),” she said. WHO preaches that people should wash their hands for a minimum of 20 seconds and cover their nose with an elbow or tissue when sneezing or coughing while avoiding touching their face (nose, mouth and eyes).

Meanwhile, the head teacher of the school where the pupils and teachers will be tested today was informed of the developments by the Ministry of Health. The head teacher said after being informed that the teacher had tested positive for the coronavirus, she informed the office of the regional education officer (REO), who was working with the Ministry of Health in containing any further spread of the coronavirus.  “He called to inform me and I reported it to my superiors so that they could deal with it.” On the other hand, a teacher at the school where the patient who tested positive for COVID-19 works, said they had been with the teacher subsequent to his trip to South Africa. The teacher further said their colleague reported not to be feeling well as he had flu-like symptoms and the day after, he did not show up as he went to hospital.

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