AfricaCorona VirusZimbabwe

Zimbabwe to open schools only for examination classes

By Almot Maqolo

Zimbabwe government on Tuesday said only examination classes should initially open schools in order for schools to be able to put prevention measures in place as there is a marked increase in Covid-19 cases.

These measures include, social distancing, limiting of class sizes, hand sanitisation and mandatory wearing of masks by both students and teachers at all times.

Briefing the media in the capital, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services minister Monica Mutsvangwa said cabinet noted the detailed operational plan put in place by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education that was developed in consultation with stakeholders.

She said students will be expected to return home immediately after examinations. “Depending on the outcome of the first phase, a way forward can then be mapped for the other classes, and the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education will subsequently issue a date for the commencement of the other classes,” she said.

Mutsvangwa said the government has identified new quarantine centres across the country. “In a bid to free schools as quarantine centres, alternative centres, mostly vocational training institutions with a capacity to accommodate 2 636 people, have been identified throughout the provinces.

“All schools currently being used as quarantined centres are expected to be vacated by 9 June, 2020. Hotels and lodges to accommodate returnees who can self-finance during the quarantine period have also been identified,” she added.

Zimbabwe is currently in level 2 national lockdown for an indefinite period to slow the spread of Covid-19. To date, a total of 203 Covid-19 cases have been recorded in the southern African nation. The positive cases are mainly returnees from outside Zimbabwe who are in the quarantine centres.

All arrivals into the southern African nation are subjected to strict Covid-19 screening including a mandatory quarantine period of 21 days with testing being done on the first, eighth and 21st days.

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