146 Covid-19 cases in schools as Harare records least number of vaccinated pupils
Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
CABINET has revealed that a total of 146 Covid-19 cases have been recorded in schools this year and Government has since adopted the revised World Health Organisation (WHO) protocols in dealing with the pandemic.
The WHO revised Covid-19 protocols in January for the improved management of the killer virus.
Addressing a post Cabinet media briefing, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the country recorded a decline in new infections in the past week, but Covid-19 cases were high in schools.
“The nation is being informed that a total of 551 new cases were recorded during the week, compared to the 759 recorded the previous week. No new deaths were recorded during the week under review. However, a total of 146 confirmed Covid-19 cases have been reported since the opening of schools for the First Term in January 2023. During the week under review, there were 31 new admissions, compared to the 40 recorded the previous week,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
She said schools, especially in Harare, need to increase the vaccination drive.
“Harare Metropolitan Province should focus on vaccination in schools, since it has the lowest percentage (37 percent) of schools that have reached the 70 percent vaccination target for those fully vaccinated with two doses. The general population should also be encouraged to be vaccinated,” she said.
Minister Mutsvangwa said to mitigate against the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic more citizens need to be vaccinated.
She said 6,7 million citizens have received their first vaccination jab while 5 million have taken the second jab and 1,4 million taken the booster shot.
Minister Mutsvangwa said provincial task force teams are challenged to continue strengthening measures to prevent spread of Covid-19.
She said the threat posed by Covid-19 has seen Cabinet adopting the revised WHO guidelines on the management of the pandemic.
“In light of the foregoing, Cabinet resolved on the following strategies in order to ensure that the pandemic is kept under check that the January 2023 WHO guidelines be adopted as follows: maintaining momentum for COVID-19 vaccination to achieve 100 percent coverage of high-priority groups; improving reporting of SARS-CoV-2 surveillance data; increasing uptake, ensuring availability and access to COVID-19 vaccines; continuing to work with communities and their leaders to effectively implement risk-based public health and social measures; and continuing to support research on Covid-19,” she said.
Minister Mutsvangwa said all ministers and legislators have been challenged to encourage the communities to vaccinate.
“All citizens should remain vigilant and continue to protect themselves by :- getting fully vaccinated; washing hands with soap and running water; sanitizing hands frequently ; social distancing; wearing face masks properly in public transport vehicles and during indoor gatherings,” she said.