HARARE, March 31 (Xinhua) — There will not be Easter cheer for pupils in boarding school after the Zimbabwean government ordered that they should not break for the long weekend holiday which begins Friday and ends on Monday as the government strives to contain the spread of COVID-19.
As of Monday, the country had recorded 1,520 deaths from 36,839 infections.
This year’s Easter commemorations, in which the country’s predominantly Christian population marks the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, is bound to be low-key again as happened in 2020 when the first national lockdown was announced.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa issued a statement Tuesday night announcing additional lockdown amid fears of a third wave of the pandemic.
“School learners who are in boarding schools will not be permitted to travel back home. Equally, no parents will travel to concerned schools for purposes of visits,” Mnangagwa said.
Zimbabwe experienced a second wave of COVID-19 infections and rising deaths between January and February following the Christmas holidays when people were allowed to travel across borders and throughout the country.
The government has now become warier of the problem associated with such holidays and has, therefore, advised against unnecessary travel.
The wearing of masks, sanitizing of hands and social distancing remain mandatory, while bars and nightclubs remain closed over the holidays.
Mnangagwa said all travelers to Zimbabwe have to be cleared for COVID-19 infections through PCR tests at least 48 hours before their entry into the country.
“Those with a valid PCR negative certificate will self-quarantine at home or in a hotel for 10 days from the day of arrival into the country,” he said.
Mnangagwa urged Zimbabweans to get vaccinated so that the country attains herd immunity.
“People from different localities are encouraged to come forward to designated centers for vaccination so that our nation builds towards herd immunity,” he said.
“Tourists who volunteer to be vaccinated can access vaccination available in our country at their own cost,” Mnangagwa said.
The government has already expressed concern over the relaxed mood of many people who are failing to adhere to precautionary measures instituted to prevent the spread of the pandemic.
More worrisome is the fact that even some police officers who are supposed to be enforcing the measures are at times found not wearing face masks and failing to practice social distancing. Enditem