Health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula said there was no need for panic as the country has been able to stave off community transmission of Covid-19.
Shangula yesterday announced two new confirmed cases of coronavirus after two women, aged 66 and 28, tested positive while in a quarantine facility following their recent return from South Africa.
Their condition is satisfactory, according to the health minister.
The country had gone for 45 days without reporting a new case and the new developments come at a time when learners are preparing for a staggered return to the classroom for face-to-face classes.
Confirmed cases in the country are now 19, while 14 patients have recovered. The country has five active cases.
“There is no ground for panicking. The two cases are travel-related. It does not affect what was planned. The ministry of basic education has put up measures to mitigate possible Covid-19 transmissions,” Shangula said yesterday.
Earlier this week, the ministry of education announced that Cabinet has endorsed a plan to reopen schools on 3 June for critical grades to resume face-to-face classes, with the hope of saving the academic year, which is scheduled to end on 18 December 2020.
Learners in grades 11 and 12 will be the first to return on 3 June, while phase 2 will see the resumption of pre-primary to grade 3 on 22 June until 18 December 2020.
This will be followed by the resumption of face-to-face teaching for grades 7 and 9 in phase 3, starting 6 July until 18 December. Grades 4, 5, 6, 8, and 10 are expected to return to the classroom on 20 July as part of phase 4.
Education executive director Sanet Steenkamp yesterday said the ministry was taking note of the new cases confirmed and equally mindful of the fact that they were not local transmissions. “I think it is imperative that we continue to put all efforts in place to ensure safety of our learners. Let us therefore remain steadfast and put all measures in place, as a collective to put the safety of our children first,” she said.
The country is expected to move to stage 3 of the post-lockdown period on 2 June. Under this period, a number of key measures will be relaxed, including the sale of alcohol on a takeaway basis. High-risk activities such as theatres, gyms, contact sports, conferences and workshops, among others, will also be allowed to operate subject to social distancing and hygiene protocols.
2020-05-22 11:07:57 4 months ago