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Zimbabwe Government Says Schools Reopening Next Week After 2-Month Delay

FILE: Zimbabwean children sit in a classroom at a school in Norton, 55 kms west of Harare, in class with no teacher. AFP PHOTO / Desmond Kwande / AFP PHOTO / DESMOND KWANDE

Zimbabwe’s Information Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa, says the government has resolved that schools, which were closed two months ago due to the third wave of COVID-19, should reopen on Monday next week.

Mutsvsangwa, who addressed journalists in a ZBC broadcast monitored from Washington DC, said the government has engaged some stakeholders about the reopening of schools that closed on June 2 and were supposed to be reopen on June 28 but remained shutdown due to an upsurge in COVID-19 cases in the southern African nation.

She said, “The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education met with teacher organisations and deliberated on the safe reopening of schools among many other issues … Noting with satisfaction, the preparations for the resumption of classes in schools, Cabinet is advising that schools will reopen on the 30th of August 2021 for examination classes and on the 6th of September 2021 for non-examination classes.

“As such intercity and intracity transportation for learners will be allowed during school reopening periods subject to close monitoring by law enforcement agencies.”

In a tweet, Mutsvangwa said young people are now expected to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations following the rolling out of the country’s inoculation program sometime in February this year, which targeted senior citizens, frontline workers and others.

“Government has so far acquired 13 million doses of Covid19 vaccines, out of the 20 million required in order to achieve herd immunity. On the advice of scientists, the vaccination programme will be extended to the 14-17 year age group.”

She further noted that restaurants are allowed to re-open for sit-in patrons, who are fully vaccinated, upon the production of vaccination cards and strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols.

The Ministry of Health reports that as at 24 August 2021, Zimbabwe had 123,320 confirmed cases, including 108,660 recoveries and 4,320 deaths. A total of 2,382,359 people have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

In a related development, Zimbabwe’s Information Secretary, Nick Mangwana, says the country has donated some vaccines to Namibia.

In a tweet, Mangwana said, “In the spirit of regional cooperation and sisterly nationhood, Govt of Zimbabwe is donating 20,000 doses of vaccines to the Republic of Namibia.”

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