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Zambia orders closure of schools as COVID-19 cases rise

Zambia has ordered the closure of schools for the next three weeks and tightened operating conditions for tourism establishments and…

Zambia has ordered the closure of schools for the next three weeks and tightened operating conditions for tourism establishments and social gatherings as part of measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, a senior official announced on Thursday.Secretary to the Cabinet Simon Miti said primary and secondary schools would remain closed until the first week of July as the government monitors the COVID-19 situation in the southern African country.

“In the next two weeks, inspections will be conducted by ministries of health and disaster management and mitigation to inform decision-making,” Miti told journalists.

He said the decision to close schools was taken to safeguard the lives of both teachers and learners at a time when COVID-19 cases have been rising exponentially in recent weeks.

The country recorded 3,026 new cases and 48 deaths in the 24 hours to late Wednesday, according to information from the Ministry of Health.

The new cases brought the cumulative number of COVID-19 infections to 118,850 and 1,492 deaths.

Dr Miti has further directed higher learning institutions to provide online sessions for the next one month subject to review.

Miti also revealed that churches and mosques would now be allowed to have two meetings per week of one hour duration each while bars, night clubs and casinos would only operate from 6pm (1600 GMT) to 10pm between Friday and Sunday.

The number of people allowed to attend funerals, weddings and other social events is now limited to a maximum of 50, and some of these gatherings should be approved by the authorities, the official said.

Workshops and other meetings have been indefinitely suspended.

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