Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Panic as COVID-19 deaths hit schools

By Moses Matenga and Praisemore Sithole

Covid-19 has hit educational institutions, with Harare Polytechnic College and Dambudzo Primary School in Mbizo high-density suburb, Kwekwe, recording deaths and a rise in infections.

Acting Mpilo Central Hospital chief executive officer Dr Solwayo Ngwenya
Acting Mpilo Central Hospital chief executive officer Dr Solwayo Ngwenya (Picture by CITE)

One person died at Harare Polytechnic early this week, while another was reported dead at the Kwekwe school.

Fourteen members of staff reportedly tested positive during a routine testing at Harare Polytechnic.

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In Mashonaland West province, Karoi town, which was put under localised lockdown last week, also lost its town engineer, Oswell Mazvimbakupa, to COVID-19-related complications.

Media reports state that COVID-19 tracker infections are increasing in Zimbabwe, with an average of 119 new infections reported each day.

Mpilo Central Hospital acting chief executive officer Solwayo Ngwenya recently said the closure of schools might have sparked an increase in cases in the country and warned that the current wave was spreading faster.

“This current wave was predicted and was mainly caused by the closure of schools. Schools have been super-spreaders of the virus and I suspect when schools closed, a lot of infections came into the communities,” he said.

“Generally, children are not very sick and probably they have been carrying the virus around and now it’s all over. We could also be having a lot of variants coming from countries such as Brazil, the United Kingdom, India and South

Ngwenya said these variants were highly transmissible.

“These variants are different from the first and second wave. One person can infect a lot of people and the infections will continue to rise,” he said.

“These areas have been identified as hotspots, but I suspect COVID-19 is all over the place and not in one place. It’s a matter of testing more people. If we test more people, you will find COVID-19 all over the place.

“The hotspots show that it will even spread more from those areas further to other areas that are not yet hotspots.”

Government this week announced that Masvingo, Chiredzi, Nkulumane, Emakhandeni and Bulawayo’s northern suburbs were now COVID-19 hotspots. NewsDay