Govt appeals for vigilance as Covid outbreaks hit schools

By Bernard Mpofu

The government has urged parents and school authorities to be vigilant after a spike in Covid-19 cases at institutions with boarding facilities amid fears of a third wave of the outbreak of the respiratory disease. 

Four boarding schools namely Prince Edward High in Harare, Sacred Heart Primary, Sacred Heart Girls High and Embakwe High in Matabeleland South, as well as St David’s Bonda Mission in Manicaland have recorded Covid-19 cases in recent weeks.

Primary and Secondary Education minister, Cain Mathema, appealed to parents and guardians to notify school heads when they detect any signs that their children are unwell to prevent localised outbreaks.

“The minister is also appealing and urging parents to report to the school heads of any relatives showing signs of Covid-19,” Mathema said in a statement.

“The fight against Covid-19 in schools, whether boarding or day, require full participation of parents and all families.

“It is not a crime that we report signs of Covid-19. It is the duty of every family to work with school heads and the health officials. No school alone can fight Covid-19. 

“Please let us all join hands in the fight against Covid-19 in schools.

“No family should spread Covid-19 because of fear of reporting signs among family members and in reporting you are protecting your child your family, your neighbours and the whole country.”

Zimbabwe reopened schools last month after a second wave of the Covid-19 outbreak soon after the festive season forced the country to go into a tougher national lockdown. 

Teachers’ unions, however, say the possibility of more serious outbreaks of Covid-19 remains high at schools due to overcrowding and lack of personal protective equipment.

Some schools have tried to decongest their classes by limiting children’s attendances to only twice a week

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