1 281 pupils infected as Covid-19 outbreaks hit Zimbabwean schools

BY NOKUTHABA DLAMINI

A number of schools across Zimbabwe are battling Covid-19 outbreaks with 1 281 children and 131 teachers testing positive for the virus since schools re-opened on August 30, the government said on Friday.

The Health and Child Care ministry said the majority of the cases were being recorded at boarding schools.

“As of the 23th September 2021, there are 1 281 school children and 131 teachers, who have tested positive for Covid-19 across the country,” the ministry said in a statement.

“The bulk of the cases are being reported mainly from boarding secondary schools across the country through the enhanced surveillance mounted by the Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education using the Joint Operational Plan for the Coordinated Prevention and Management of the Covid-19 pandemic at all learning institutions in the country.”

The ministry said most of the cases recorded so far did not require hospitalisation.

“Most of the reported cases have been mild and not requiring hospitalisation and no fatalities have been reported,” it added.

“The ministry wishes to assure the nation and the affected parents that measures are being taken to safeguard the safety and health of the affected learners.”

The mitigation measures which have been put in place to ensure total safety of learners, include increased Covid-19 testing of all suspected cases on-site, isolation and management of all positive cases at the affected schools, quarantine of the all learners that have been exposed at their schools and restriction of movement into and out of the affected learning institutions.

“The ministry urges the affected schools and communities to continue practising strict hygiene, sanitization, hand washing, physical distancing and proper wearing of masks,” the ministry said.

“Those suspecting Covid -19 must seek medical attention from the nearest health facility.

“Furthermore, eligible people should go for vaccination offered at the nearest health facility.”

On Thursday, the Health ministry said 69 percent of the new cases were recorded in schools Mashonaland East (26), Midlands (28), Manicaland (14), Masvingo (48), Matabaleland North (23), Bulawayo (one) and Mashonaland Central (89).

In June the government was forced to suspend the re-opening of schools by two months as the country battled the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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