Despite intensive cleaning of the TML Primary school in San Fernando, a five-year-old child was hospitalised yesterday—two days after her schoolmates began vomiting at school.
Some of those pupils are still warded at the San Fernando General Hospital, Gulf View Medical and the Southern Medical Clinic in San Fernando.
Unconfirmed reports say 76 pupils experienced bouts of illness on Tuesday out of which 40 plus students sought medical help at a health institution.
During an interview with Guardian Media, the parent of the five-year-old child said she took her daughter to the Southern Medical Clinic on Thursday after the child complained to vomiting and diarrhoea.
Doctors told the parent that the child was suffering from a viral infection which caused gastroenteritis. While the school is generally clean, the parent said she is still puzzled as to what caused the children to fall ill.
“As it is, we are not getting information so we do not know what caused this,” the parent said. She noted that the air condition units were serviced regularly and the school was generally well maintained.
Another parent called on the Ministry of Health to bring in foreign experts to do an assessment of the school.
Meanwhile, president of the PTA Roger Rajan told Guardian Media that he too was clueless as to what caused the pupils to fall ill. He said two professional firms were hired to decontaminate and fumigate the school.
“The walls were wiped and they blasted the school to make sure that everything was sanitary,” he added. He lamented that the PTA had received no update or communication from the school principal with respect to any reports or information from the Health Officials.
In a note, to parents, Rajan wrote, “Parents please note that the PTA Executive is deeply concerned about the welfare of the children. May Allah make it easy for all the children who have fallen ill and may their recovery be a speedy one. We are aware that the Health Department has called several parents enquiring about their children and unconfirmed information is that they are still trying to understand what is affecting our children. Please keep your children welfare at the forefront. Any information transmitted to the PTA will, in turn, be conveyed to our parents.”
In a statement to parents on Wednesday, the school’s acting principal Wahida Mohammed-Narine said, “This is to inform you that some students from the Standard Four class vomited yesterday. The parents were advised to keep these children at home once they are ill. The classrooms were sanitised and the health authorities/school supervisors were contacted. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you posted. If your children are experiencing any symptoms of illness, please keep them away from school.”
The ministry said the matter was being investigated.