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Re-opening of schools postponed by two weeks

PARENTS have applauded the Government for postponing re-opening of schools by two weeks in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19 as it has claimed 45 lives in the last four days.

Speaking during a post Cabinet briefing this evening, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Honourable Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the Government has agreed to postpone schools opening in the midst of surging COVID-19 cases.

Initially schools were supposed to open on Monday next week, 28 June 2021 for the Second Term.

The upsurge of COVID-19 cases saw the imposition of a two-week long restriction which left Kwekwe, Karoi, Chinhoyi and Kariba on lockdown.

Bulawayo’s three districts have also been classified as COVID-19 hotspots as they continuously record a high number of new COVID-19 cases.

Cabinet noted, with concern, that the surge reported the previous week continued, with a total of 1 239 cases recorded during the period under review, compared to 544 reported the previous week represents a 127 percent increase.

“In view of the regional and local upsurge of cases, the nation is informed that Cabinet approved that the reopening of schools and other learning institutions be delayed by 14 days. Government will be monitoring the situation and a review would be made after two weeks,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

Cabinet further approved the localized lockdown in the following hotspot areas: – in Mashonaland West Karoi, Makonde, Chinhoyi, Mhangura, Chidamwoyo, Magunje, Chirundu; in Bulawayo, Nkulumane, Emakhandeni and Northern Suburbs; in Mashonaland Central Mount Darwin and in Masvingo, Chiredzi. The nation is informed that there would be a joint security blitz to enforce the recently promulgated COVID-19 prevention and control measures, especially in the designated hot spots.

The Nkulumane clinical district, include the following areas: Nkulumane, Pelandaba, Sizinda, Nketa, Emganwini and Barham Green.

Emakhandeni clinical district cover the following areas: Cowdray Park, Njube, Luveve, Magwegwe suburbs, Pumula suburbs and Emakhandeni.

Northern suburbs are comprised of: Mpopoma, Mzilikazi, Nguboyenja, Makokoba and City centre.

Speaking to Infocus News, Mrs Sinokuthaba Mpofu whose child attends Sacred Heart Primary School said besides the surging cases, opening schools during winter was going to further expose learners to the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

She said during the first term more than 230 learners and staff contracted COVID-19 which forced authorities to put the school among many others on lockdown.

“We are relieved that our children will not be going to school next week as we feared that they may become victims of COVID-19 like last term.  Cases have been going up and it was scary to think that our children were going to go to school under such circumstances, worse still during winter as temperatures continue declining,” said Mrs Mpofu.

“Yes, this postponement may affect their studies in a way but at least they will be safe at home without us having to worry about their welfare. We know that soon these cases will be contained and our children will resume their studies in a safe environment.”

Ms Clara Ndlovu from Njube said her teenage children were reluctant about going to school next Monday as they felt it may increase their risk to contracting COVID-19.

“My children were not ready to resume their studies because of the rate in the spread in COVID-19 and with a consideration that authorities may fail to contain it at this rate. They were not comfortable with going to school next week as we all are not yet sure of the impact of the current strain,” said Ms Ndlovu.

“COVID-19 has brought in a lot of challenges in the education sector and may affect our children but we are not going to risk their lives in the name of progressing with studies. We will continue monitoring the situation at home,” added Ms Ndlovu.

Ends

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