#COVID-19: All Learning Institutions To Be Disinfected Before Reopening

MINISTER of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Honorable Monica Mutsvangwa has announced that government would soon be disinfecting all institutions of learning ahead schools and reopening scheduled for next month.

By Michael Gwarisa

In a media briefe, Hon Mutsvangwa said even though most institutions of learning had been turned into quarantine centers for returning citizens plans are already in place to de-congest the institutions and pave way for schools and universities reopening.

Currently, some of our learning institutions are being used as quarantine centres.  With regards to the Cabinet decision on the imminent opening of schools, universities and colleges which are currently being used as quarantine centres, alternative quarantine centres are being identified and assessed so that they can house returning Zimbabweans. Alternative quarantine centres being assessed include churches, Vocational and National Youth Service Training Centres.

“To ensure that our learning institutions are ready to receive students, no new returnees will be admitted at these institutions.  Those who are presently quarantined at these schools will continue mandatory stay and once they are released the schools will be rehabilitated and disinfected. All learning institutions will be disinfected as a condition for them to be re-opened and take in learners,” said Hon Mutsvangwa.

She said Zimbabwe continues to receive returning and legal residents who had been domiciled outside the country and added the returning citizens  required to adhere to the laid down regulations that include screening, testing and quarantining.

“These measures are there to protect their loved ones here at home. We cannot run away from the fact that a greater number of our positive cases are from returnees. Traditional leaders play a critical role in the dissemination information to our rural communities. This information dissemination role has been key in raising awareness on COVID19 and ensuring adherence to the protective and preventative measures in these communities.

“Traditional leaders will be mobilizing their communities in the apprehension of those returnees who abscond from quarantine centres and those who returned home through illegal crossing points. It is illegal for anyone to harbor any returnees who have not gone through the proper repatriation procedures and health screening. Let me take this opportunity to urge each and every one of us to do the right thing where preventative and protective measures are concerned.”

Meanwhile, the subcommittee reported that several provincial sites have been trained to manage the GeneXpert machines, whose functionality have been increased so that they can also test for COVID19. The GeneXpert machines will increase the country’s testing capacity.

The Provincial sites include Bulawayo 2, Harare 4, Manicaland 1, Mashonaland Central 1, Mashonaland East 1, Mashonaland West 1, Masvingo 1,Matabeleland North 1 and Matabeleland South 3.

“As part of the COVID19 response plan, Treasury announced that health posts would be unfrozen so that the nation would have adequate health personnel to man our medical facilities. I am pleased to announce that of 3713 health posts that were unfrozen in March 2020, 3 539 have been filled. The process of filling the remaining 174 outstanding is underway.”

She added that the COVID19 pandemic has triggered government to find resources from within and develop our production resilience.

“The combination of our industries working together with the institutions of higher learning is at the centre of our import substitution efforts. The local capacity for the production of face masks, hand sanitizers, and other Personal Protective Equipment continues to increase and this has had a great impact on access and affordability of these PPEs.

“I am pleased to announce that as part of import substitution efforts our universities and industry are working on reverse engineering PPEs which cannot be sourced locally.”

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