Only a few showed mild symptoms so far, according to the task force

Nima | Gelephu

The students and staff who tested positive for Covid-19 from six schools in Sarpang will be managed inside the respective school with support from the dzongkhag.

Sarpang reported the highest positive case (499) in one day on March 14. The majority of the cases were from the schools that worked in containment

mode.Some 372 students from six schools: Losel Gyatsho Academy, Gelephu LSS, Gelephu HSS, Sarpang Central School, Gelephu MSS, and Sarpang MSS, tested positive yesterday.

Fourty-seven invigilators and support staff from affected schools tested positive, including one from Pelrithang HSS. They were tested for Covid-29 along with students after the completion of board examinations on March 12.

While there was zero case from students in Pelrithang Higher Secondary Schools, one staff tested positive from the school so far.

All affected schools are set to manage the cases on the campus. Medical and required logistics supports are planned for the schools without a boarding facility.

According to the officials from the dzongkhag task force, the school management teams were briefed and advised to decongest schools without a proper hostel facility.

Gelephu HSS and Gelephu LSS were asked to explore facilities in Kuendrup HSS. The school came out unscathed after the completion of the board examination so far.

Incident commander, Lobzang Dorji, said the task force would provide essentials and financial support to improve diets for students.

“Basic medicines are provided to focal health officials in all schools. The clinical management team collected a list of students with comorbidities. The team would do the follow-up daily. A mobile clinical team is in place,” he said.

The incident commander added that all reported positive cases were clinically stable; many are asymptomatic and only a few of them showed mild symptoms.

Those students who were already released from their respective schools after the completion of examinations were advised to self-isolate or home quarantine.

The quarantine period would end in 10 days and the disease outbreak in schools won’t impact the opening of the next academic session, scheduled in April, according to the dzongdag.

Officials said there were a few complaints about meals and other facilities, mainly from students in Thromde schools that do not have the experiences of  boarding environment.

Of more than 580 students and staff on the campus, 192 students and staff tested positive from Losel Gyatsho Academy in Gelephu.

Some 157 students joined the school when the school resumed for board examinations last month.

Principal Tshering Dema said the school did not face any problem while planning to manage the positive cases in the school, as the school has a boarding facility.

“All students completed their examinations and no one’s sick. We are mentally prepared to get through this together. Parents are informed and they are supportive. The dzongkhag also assured us to provide required help,” she said.

She added that the school followed containment protocols during the entire course of examinations. “The students were tested on the first day and seventh day too. There were 24 hours of patrolling around the campus. Yet, we are exposed to the virus,” said Tshering Dema.

Eleven staff and 49 students were exposed to Covid-19 from Sarpang Central School. All the students who tested positive were day scholars. The school separated boarding and day students while conducting board examinations.

Almost all boarding students from Sarpang CS were infected with the virus and recovered before the examination last month.

Gelephu Lower Secondary School reported 105 cases, 71 from Gelephu HSS, two from Gelephu MSS, and one from Sarpang MSS.

Except for the six schools with positive cases, students from eight other schools in Sarpang were released, according to the task force officials.