Zimbabwe extends national COVID-19 lockdown, delays opening of schools

A student gets her temperature taken before entering the school premises two days after the resumption of schools on September 30, 2020 in Harare, Zimbabwe,Tafadzwa Ufumeli/Getty Images

The Zimbabwean government extended the national lockdown in the country by a further two weeks and also delayed the opening of schools by a week as the country battles against a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a government notice, the one-week period is aimed at giving schools time to put in place preventive public health measures depending on the existing COVID-19 situation at that time.

FILE PHOTO: A student gets her temperature taken before entering a school in Harare, Zimbabwe. /Getty Images

Other measures in the notice include a directive that teachers and students must wear face masks while in class and teachers and students who are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine should get the jab before schools open.

Authorities were also ordered to conduct regular inspections of learning institutions at least once a week to assess their compliance with the regulations.

Earlier this month, the government postponed the reopening of schools, with the exception of examination classes, due to a surge COVID-19 cases.

Zimbabwe has so far reported 225,637 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 20,993 recoveries and 5,238 deaths.

(Story compiled with assistance from wire reports)