Covid-19: Schools opening deferred, exams continue . . .2022 year of growth: President

Source: Covid-19: Schools opening deferred, exams continue . . .2022 year of growth: President | The Herald

Covid-19: Schools opening deferred, exams continue . . .2022 year of growth: President
President Mnangagwa walks to the podium to deliver his keynote address on New Year at State House in Harare yesterday. — Picture: Believe Nyakudjara

Zvamaida Murwira

Senior Reporter

The reopening of schools to teaching classes, which had initially been slated for January 10, has been deferred although outstanding Ordinary Level and Advanced Level examinations will be written from next week as scheduled, President Mnangagwa announced yesterday when he extended the Level 2 national lockdown by another two weeks to contain the fourth wave of Covid-19.

He implored the unvaccinated to go for their free vaccinations and said the booster programme for third jabs would be rolled out soon.

With present infection rates soaring, the President said it was critical that everyone followed the public health measures of masking up, washing hands and social distancing.

“With the exception of examination classes, which resume classes as announced by the responsible ministry, the general school calendar is hereby delayed until further notice. Examination classes exempt from this delay are, however, expected to strictly comply with preventive public health measures,” said the President at State House yesterday.

He noted that the last week of the year recorded 10 384 cases of infections and 142 deaths.

“These sombre statistics translate to an average 1 483 new cases of infections and 20 deaths each day. The last three days alone were especially dire, with some 2 000 new infection cases and 30 deaths recorded daily. Clearly our nation is in the grip of an Omicron variant-induced Fourth Wave whose curve we continue to struggle to flatten, before the curve begins to tend down,” he said.

President Mnangagwa said the Level 2 national lockdown had been extended by another two weeks, with all expected to comply with the health measures, after which an appropriate review would be announced guided by scientific appreciation of the situation prevailing at the time.

“While business reopens and resumes as normal, employers are expected to put in place all the essential preventive public health measures, including encouraging part of their workforce to operate from home, and through virtual platforms as practicable,” he said.

“As before and always, face masks must be worn by all our citizens in public places, spaces, gatherings and when patronising public transport. Those of our citizens who are yet to get vaccinated should, without delay, proceed to get vaccinated at designated vaccination centres. Provincial taskforce teams should be on hand to motivate and intensify the vaccination process,” said President Mnangagwa.

He said citizens should continue to take precautionary measures while Government will soon roll out the booster vaccination programme.

“While Government finalises measures to introduce and roll out a nationwide booster vaccination programme, we are all expected to adhere fully to World Health Organisation (WHO) measures on public health, including and especially the washing of hands under running water, sanitising, social distancing to the extent possible, avoid crowds and unnecessary gatherings, and wearing face masks at all times and in all public institutions,” said President Mnangagwa.

“With a strict adherence to these measures and precautions, our nation should be able to ride through this Fourth Wave so we all return to and resume our normal, productive lives that we all yearn for. The call is to us all, the responsibility a shared, national one.”

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