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Zimbabwe government defers reopening of schools

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Reopening of schools for examination classes which was scheduled for July 28 has been deferred, after a spike in confirmed local Covid-19 infections.

The latest confirmed numbers of Covid-19 infections reached 1 064 as of yesterday. The deferment was announced by Cabinet yesterday at a post Cabinet media briefing.

Zimbabwe is now witnessing a sharp increase in internal transmission, as the previous cases of infection was recorded from returnees.

Yesterday the acting Ministry of Health and Child Care, professor Amon Murwira announced another 30 infections, 14 among returning residents and 16 within Zimbabwe., while seven of these 16 were contacts of known cases.

Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa highlighted that Cabinet had adopted the recommendation of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Covid-19 in tightening of the current lock-down measures.

“The re-opening of schools shall be deferred pending a review of the situation, while the writing of public examinations continues; private schools that have already opened without permission will be penalised,” said Mutsvangwa

Minister Mutsvangwa hinted that the current restrictions in the fight of Covid-19 will not in any way be relaxed in light of the local spike, she further added that President Mnangagwa will announce new restriction measures.

“President Mnangagwa will announce comprehensive measures on the way forward regarding the country’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak”, said Mutsvangwa.

The gradual opening up of the economy has been temporally ceased. Furthermore, testing in communities with high cases of local transmission such as Bulawayo will be increased.

Two buses will be allocated to transport those returning from South Africa, which has the largest number of people testing positive at Beitbridge border post.

Cabinet further endorsed the ongoing restructuring of the Ministry of Health and Child Care, after which the former Minister of Health and Child Care was fired from his post on accusation of corruption. Professor Amon Murwira is now the acting minister of Health and Child Care.

The latest death is a child in Matabeleland South who was admitted to hospital on Saturday with pneumonia. This takes the cumulative total to 20. But a large batch of confirmed recoveries in Bulawayo (49) and Matabeleland North (3) has taken the cumulative number of confirmed recoveries to 343.

Liberty Pazvakawambwa SADC News Correspondent- Zimbabwe

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