Head teachers of boarding schools are being requested to retain their students till screening and monitoring exercise is done in view of the Covid 19 pandemic.
The call has been made in a joint statement signed by the Secretary for Health, Charles Mwansambo and Secretary for Education, Chikondano Mussa.
It follows a Presidential directive that all students in boarding schools should remain in schools till they have been assessed by health authorities while the rest close for three weeks.
The statement indicates that all students will be screened and testing will be conducted on students that are presenting signs and symptoms.
Those that test positive shall be separated from the ones that will test negative within the school premises.
It further stresses on the importance of the move in order to avoid spreading the infection in the community where there are more vulnerable people including parents and guardians, who are at risk if infected.
Those that test negative will be monitored whilst in the school since the virus might be in the incubation phase.
This will minimise the threat of spreading the virus should they test positive days after the first test.
In addition, the statement underscores the importance of preventing the students who have tested negative from getting infected.
The two secretaries advise head teachers to allocate hostels for those testing positive and separate rooms as well for those that test negative.
For the schools that have allowed students to go home before or after assessment by health authorities, return of such students shall be on condition that they bring a COVID-19 negative certificate valid within 72hrs.
Students that return to school without the negative certificate shall be put on mandatory quarantine for a period of not less than 10 days since they are currently mixing with the general public where community transmission is high.
Head teachers whose students have gone home, are therefore advised to consider calling them back to school so that the process of monitoring and breaking the transmission among the students can start before schools are declared open.