CABINET has announced a raft of measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 in schools following indications that schools have become the latest COVID-19 hotspots.
Briefing Journalists during a post-Cabinet Media briefing, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting services minister, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa said the number of cases recorded went up to 1 669 this week and the education sector contributed significantly to this increase.
Government has, therefore, instituted the following measures to contain the COVID-19 surge in schools,” she said.
Some of the measures include:
- enhancement of surveillance and contact-tracing at schools and in the surrounding communities;
- increasing on-site COVID-19 testing of all suspected cases, contacts and surrounding communities;
- isolation and management of all COVID-19-positive cases;
- quarantining of those exposed;
- restriction of movement into and out of the affected schools until the outbreaks have been controlled;
- enhancement of public health and social protocols, including social distancing, hand washing, sanitization and wearing of face masks;
- empowering teachers to detect and report suspected cases;
- enhancement of awareness campaigns in schools and surrounding communities; and
- vaccination of all eligible populations in schools and surrounding communities.”
Minister Mutsvangwa saidt out of a total school enrolment of 4.6 million, the number of COVID-19-positive cases detected is insignificant.
“All cases are being well-managed in line with the Standard Guidelines for the Coordinated Prevention and Management of COVID-19 at All Learning Institutions in Zimbabwe. Furthermore, most cases among learners are asymptomatic or have only mild symptoms. Accordingly, Cabinet resolved that schools will remain open. Learners who are isolated will be provided with alternative learning platforms. “