It’s official, schools will no longer be opening at the end of this month. Yesterday the government resolved to postpone the reopning of schools due to a surge in local coronavirus cases. Prior to this month, most new daily cases were a result of returnees coming back from South Africa. However, due to escapees from quarantine centers and lax enforcement of containment measures by the government there has been a surge in local cases. Deaths from coronavirus have also risen to 18 from a respectable 4 as at the time of writing this.
Cabinet Resolutions in response to a surge in cases
Cabinet is disturbed by the spike in COVID-19 locally transmitted cases and the number of deaths recorded. To curb the increase in transmissions as well as deaths from COVID-19, the following measures were adopted:
(a) that the current lockdown restrictions will be tightened, while localised lockdowns are introduced in hotspot areas and further opening up of the economy is halted;
(b) that testing in communities with high cases of local transmission such as Bulawayo will be increased;
(c) that the re-opening of schools shall be deferred pending a review of the situation, while the writing of public examinations continues;
(d) that private schools that have already opened without permission will be penalized;
(e) that Government shall have the sole responsibility for inter-city travel for those that really require to travel especially to seek medical attention; and
(f) that two (2) buses will be availed to transport those that test positive from Beitbridge to their respective provincial isolation centres.
Cabinet further noted with concern that some members of some religious sects have gathered in their numbers in Manicaland Province for their yearly retreat, in contravention of COVID-19 regulations that prohibit gatherings of more than fifty (50) people.
This poses high risk to the spread of COVID-19. Accordingly, Cabinet directed that the gathering should disperse forthwith.
Let me also take this opportunity to report that His Excellency the President will announce comprehensive measures on the way forward regarding the country’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
When will schools reopen in 2020?
The truth is the whole thing is beyond anyone’s control. While it’s easy to blame the government for delayed reopening even governments in advanced nations are facing issues when it comes to reopening of schools. The United States and the United Kingdom are grappling with this issue as well. The coronavirus is proving to be a formidable threat that refuses to go away.