The Sunday News
Vusumuzi Dube, Online News Editor
FATIMA and George Silundika High schools have been temporarily turned into isolation centres and put under full lockdown as the Government works to contain Covid-19 cases at the two Matabeleland North schools.
This comes as the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has reiterated that all Covid-19 protocols remain in place noting that face-to-face Annual General Meetings have to be done under strict supervision to protect the learners.
Last Thursday, Cabinet announced that out of the 252 new Covid-19 cases, 130 were form Fatima and 33 from George Silundika meaning that the two schools contributed to the biggest chunk of cases recorded in the country.
“Out of the 252 new cases, 130 were from Fatima and 33 from George Silundika Secondary schools, in Matabeleland North Province. Health teams are on the ground and the situation is under control. The slight increase is an indication that the country needs to remain vigilant,” said Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Monica Mutsvangwa.
Contacted for comment, director of communication and advocacy in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Mr Taungana Ndoro revealed that in a bid to contain the spread of the pandemic at the two schools they had since directed that no visitors be allowed.
“We are not allowing visitors to Fatima and George Silundika because of the cases. Currently we have enhanced our Standard Operating Procedures in order to curb the spread of the virus,” said Mr Ndoro.
Questioned on the general situation at schools and what was being done to ensure that the situation at the two schools does not occur at other schools in the country, Mr Ndoro said they were upping the adherence of all national Covid-19 protocols.
“Generally, the national Covid-19 protocols still apply. Of course, we now have Annual General Meetings which are face-to-face but these should be done under the guidelines of the national Covid-19 protocols,” he said.
Speaking during the post-Cabinet briefing, Minister Mutsvangwa said provinces continued to prioritise Covid-19 vaccinations in all schools, with a focus on those that have not yet reached the second dose coverage target of 70 percent.
She said they have also stepped up their response to the measles outbreak, which is being brought under control.
“Regarding resource mobilisation, Cabinet wishes to inform the nation that the most significant Covid-19 funding for 2021 came from the Government of Zimbabwe. Government contributed US$305 million (84 percent) of the total funding of US$362 million.
“The nation is advised that the country’s Covid-19 pandemic response remains on track. However, in view of the small increase in new cases, Cabinet has resolved that all provinces must continue to prioritise Covid-19 vaccination activities and take advantage of any gatherings to vaccinate eligible individuals; and that all schools must strengthen Covid-19 vaccination activities,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.