The Ministry of Health says a majority of the 311 Lilongwe Girls Secondary School students who tested positive for Covid-19 are asymptomatic and should recover within a few days.
The ministry said this in response to concerns from some parents that their wards have been put in isolation in dormitories where they are not receiving any medication.
According to a press statement issued yesterday, signed by Ministry of Education Principal Secretary Chikondano Mussa, only 16 students are showing mild signs and symptoms of the disease while the rest are asymptomatic and doing well.
The statement further says out of 605 students that were tested, 311 tested positive for Covid-19, representing 51 percent while out of the 38 members of staff tested, five tested positive and are also asymptomatic.
The ministry has since said it will still keep the learners in school to curb the spread of the virus.
Reads the statement in part: “It is better for the public that the students remain on campus. If the students were released to go home, they would pose a very high [risk of] spreading the virus wider and faster wherever they go, including in their homes and communities where they may transmit the infection to their elderly parents and guardians.”
According to the statement, the school has since been disinfected and the exercise will continue.
The statement further says that as the students are together, they give moral support to each other, along with their teachers and other health professionals who are constantly on the campus.
Government has assured concerned parents and guardians that it will ensure that every students receives the most appropriate attention.
In an interview, the school’s Parents Teachers Association (PTA) chairperson Neverson Banda said while most of the children are indeed doing well and are asymptomatic, the school management will from today put them on a special diet that includes vegetables, fruits and an egg a day.
But speaking in an interview on Sunday, Lilongwe District Health Office spokesperson Richard Mvula said the learners are not on any medication because they are asymptomatic.
“The students are not sick, they only tested positive for Covid-19,” he said, adding the DHO was providing psycho-social support for them.
Mvula said they are working with the PTA in sharing information with the student’s parents and guardians where necessary.
The students were tested last week after 19 students complained of mild symptoms.