Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has ordered the country’s schools to shut down starting next week amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 77-year-old said the decision was informed by concerns raised by parents who are worried that learning institutions could enhance the spread of the virus in the country.
Zimbabwe has not recorded any COVID-19 case, but remains on high alert as the virus continues to spread across Africa.
As a precaution, the government has banned all public gatherings of more than 100 people. The ban will also affect next month’s Independence Day celebrations.
President Mnangagwa also urged Zimbabweans to avoid any unnecessary foreign travel in a bid to stop any potential spread of COVID-19 in Zimbabwe.
“I urge my fellow Zimbabweans to maintain excellent levels of personal hygiene. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap, cover your nose & mouth with a tissue when you cough, and avoid unnecessary travel abroad. We must keep our nation, safe, secure & healthy,” he said earlier this month.
As of Friday 20 March 2020, close to 210,000 COVID-19 cases had been confirmed globally, with Africa accounting for a little over 760 cases spread across 36 countries.