837 students test positive for Covid-19, Govt
Harare, (New Ziana) – The government said on Wednesday at least 837 primary and secondary school students had tested positive to the Covid-19 virus since schools opened in March, with the majority of them having recovered.
The infections at schools in Harare, Manicaland, Matabeleland North and South provinces as well as the Midlands sent panic waves among parents amid warnings of a potential third wave of the virus.
Schools had re-opened inspite of misgivings by some stakeholders who felt it was too early given high infection cases at the time, but government insisted adequate measures had been put in place to contain them.
Students had missed school for over a year.
“A total of 837 Covid-19 positive cases have been detected in schools since opening in March 2021,” Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa told a post-Cabinet media briefing.
“Total recoveries in schools stand at 796, leaving the number of active cases at 29 and this demonstrates the effectiveness of the surveillance system and control measures which have been put in place.”
She said 31 samples taken from learners and staff at Goldridge Primary School in Kwekwe where three students recently tested positive to the coronavirus, had all tested negative.
Government has since March trained educators and rolled out modules on how to handle the pandemic at schools.
Mutsvangwa reminded the nation that “Covid-19 is still with us”, urging vigilance and continued observation of all set health protocols aimed at reducing spread of the pandemic.
To date, the country has recorded 38 706 positive cases and 1 587 deaths since March last year, with nearly 640 000 people so far vaccinated since mid-February.
“Government continues to urge the public to go to their nearest health facility to receive the Covid-19 vaccines so that the country achieves herd immunity in order to control the spread of this pandemic,” Minister Mutsvangwa said.
To achieve herd immunity, Zimbabwe needs to vaccinate at least 10 million people.
Meanwhile, Mutsvangwa said an additional 500 000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine ordered from China were expected to be delivered mid-June.
The delivery, will take the total number of doses the country has received to date to over 2.4 million.