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MBABANE - The reopening of schools has sparked the COVID-19 infection rate among school-going children.

Following the reopening, there has been a noticeable rise in infection among people below the ages of 18. Since schools opened on March 29, 2021, 10 COVID-19 cases were recorded among people below the ages of 18, which might be school-going citizens. The 10 infections among people less than 18 years were recorded from March 30 to April 18, 2020. Children are known to be carriers of the virus since they are mainly asymptomatic, meaning they do not show symptoms. Most hardly get gravely ill from the virus as well. They are known to contract the virus and spread it among the elderly and family members when they reach home.


Minister of Health Lizzie Nkosi expressed her concern over the few COVID-19 cases in schools. She expressed her worry on Monday, while she was addressing the nation, to be wary of the COVID-19 third wave, despite the low daily infections.  “We have seen some cases of scholars below 10 years of age getting infected, thus the warning to schools to enforce the COVID-19 prevention measures,” said Nkosi. The minister said the Ministry of Health had schools health teams that were increased and trained during the first response to sensitise the schools on COVID-19-related issues to contain the spread of the virus in schools.

“They (the trainers) received a refresher course as they prepared for schools reopening. There are standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place. There is a quick response to every identified case, prompt follow-up on contacts and thorough investigation and management of each case. “The trainers also do screening and testing of contacts. It is this joint effort between Education and Health that has helped contain infections. This has resulted in the very low infection rate against over 200 000 learners in the country,” said Nkosi. Eswatini Principals Association (EPA) President Welcome Mhlanga said head teachers followed the SOPs which were provided by government.


The SOPs include having handwashing stations, adhering to social distancing even in class (1.5 metres apart) and wearing face masks. “Some head teachers have gone the extra mile by not allowing parents inside the school premises unless it is necessary. We encourage parents to address issues over the phone,” said Mhlanga.

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