GOVERNMENT says teachers and pupils should not panic over rising cases of Covid-19 as schools were well equipped to detect the virus early.
This comes after schools in Matabeleland recorded a spike in Covid-19 cases amid fears within the medical fraternity of a possible fifth wave.
Yesterday, the Health and Child Care Ministry said it recorded 184 new Covid-19 cases, with 45 of them reported in Matabeleland South and Matabeleland North.
As of May 7, there were 32 hospitalised cases, and 17 of the cases were of vaccinated individuals, while 15 were not vaccinated.
Primary and Secondary Education Ministry spokesperson, Taungana Ndoro, said teachers and pupils should not panic over the increasing cases of Covid -19.
“Our schools are the best barometer for detecting Covid-19,” he said.
“We have scientific surveillance that detects Covid-19 early, and we are able to capture it at an early stage.
“Learners and teachers are all sanitised before going to class.”
Ndoro said most learners, from the age of 12, were vaccinated against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Last week, the World Health Organisation reported that Zimbabwe was among a number of African countries at risk of a Covid-19 fifth wave.
Neighbouring South Africa has seen a sustained rise in infections over the past 14 days, seemingly driven by the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron sub-variants.
The variants were first detected in Botswana and South Africa with the Rainbow Nation having so far recorded the most coronavirus cases and deaths in Africa.
Medical and Dental Private Practitioners of Zimbabwe Association president, Johannes Marisa, said the rise in Covid-19 cases in the country heralded the start of a fifth wave.
“There is a general increase in the number of Covid-19 cases, and it is not surprising.
“We are expecting the fifth wave to strike us any time.
“If you look at the trend, you will realise that South Africa is really under the fifth wave.
“We share the same border with South Africa, and whatever happens there might also affect us.
“We have a lot of Zimbabweans in South Africa who criss-cross between Zimbabwe and South Africa often, if South Africa starts recording a number of high cases, it won’t take us three weeks to be affected again.
“We may need to get a bit worried and be very vigilant so that we do not drop our guard as we may face a fifth wave although probably less serious than what we experienced during the beginning.”
He urged citizens to adhere to all Covid-19 restrictions, including masking up.