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A security guard closes the gate to the T.M.L Primary School in San Fernando, yesterday.

Health workers sanitised the Trinidad Muslim League (TML) Primary School in San Fernando yesterday after dozens of children fell ill with a stomach ailment.

Parents said that at least 20 pupils in standard four suffered from nausea and diarrhoea on Tuesday. By yesterday morning, some of the standard 3 pupils began suffering from the same symptoms. This led to parents taking their children out of school.

It followed a message from the school’s acting principal Wahida Mohammed-Narine, who said, “This is to inform you that some students from the Std 4 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.”

When Guardian Media visited the school, officials declined to speak, saying that a statement would be issued by the Ministry of Education.

However, one official confirmed that the school was sanitised and said classes will resume tomorrow as usual. While the cause of the sickness was not identified, he suspected that one pupil came to school sick and spread a virus to other pupils.

But one parent said his daughter fell ill on Tuesday and maybe home for the rest of the week. The girl returned home vomiting and was taken to the doctor who gave her hydration salts. The parent, who did not want to be identified, said his daughter’s nausea passed but she was left feeling weak.

Another parent said he was on his way to drop his children to school when his wife called and told him to bring them back home.

Another parent said her daughter was already at school and when the information was shared through the school’s PTA group on Whatsapp, she had to leave work to collect her daughter. While her daughter did not fall ill, she was awaiting information from the school to determine whether or not it is safe to return.