FRANCISTOWN: The President of Botswana Sectors for Educators Trade Union (BOSETU), Winston Rradikolo has expressed concern about the way the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MoHW) was handling cases of CoVID-19 in schools in the second city.
Rradikolo raised the concern after seven schools in the city registered 19 positive cases of the dreaded pandemic.
According to the BOSETU leader, the ministry should have taken a decision to close the affected schools in order to protect both the teachers and students from contracting COVID-19.
He said that at the moment there was no urgency on the part of the Ministry in handing cases of COVID-19 in schools around Francistown.
He said: “It has always being a norm that when schools register COVID-19 cases they are closed with immediate effect, but that is not the case with the Francistown schools. To my knowledge, it has been business as usual in all the affected seven schools”.
Rradikolo further said when health workers undertook contact tracing at the schools on Monday, they did direct tracing but afterwards it was business as usual.
He said that the health of the teachers, students together with non-teaching staff at the affected schools, should be prioritised before anything else.
“For example, where I am teaching at Francistown Senior Secondary School (FSSS), about five classes were affected but after contact tracing was undertaken on Monday, the classes commenced like on a normal basis.”
He further said that FSSS should have been closed immediately so that it could have been disinfected, but that was not the case as it was only announced late on Wednesday that the school would be closed on Thursday and classes would resume on Friday.
Rradikolo was worried about the time taken to respond to cases of COVID-19 here(Francistown).
He added: “They responded very late to cases of COVID-19 in schools. Now that they have identified cases of COVID-19 they should
When breaking down cases of COVID-19 in city’s schools as of Monday, Rradikolo said that FSSS registered seven cases, followed by Mater Spei College with four cases, Donga Junior Secondary School (JSS) with three cases and Setlalekgosi with two cases.
He further said other schools such as Selolwe JSS, Selepa JSS, and Tashatha JSS each registered one case of COVID-19.
He said that the overall number of COVID-19 cases were 19 of which 18 were students and one teacher.
Rradikolo also added that 120 students and 26 teachers at FSSS have been placed under self-isolation.
Rradikolo said that the statistics of COVID-19 cases in schools were expected to change by yesterday (Thursday) as they were expecting another update from the relevant authorities.
When giving the update of COVID-19 status in Francistown during a tour of US Ambassador to Botswana, Craig Cloud, on Wednesday, Greater Francistown District Health Management Team Coordinator, Rose Munyere said that they recorded 19 cases of COVID-19 in the district of
people who do not have history of travelling.
She said that they had 22 people in isolation of which 14 of them were students.
Asked to confirm or deny allegations of COVID-19 cases registered at FSSS, Mater Spei College, Setlalekgosi and other schools, Munyere said that she was not in any position to disclose information.
She said she was in the process of compiling a report to the MoHW headquarters and subsequently promised to share the information in a press statement after the report has been submitted.