Information and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary Amos Malupenga has announced that Pre, Primary and Secondary schools will remain closed until August 16, 2021.
Mr. Malupenga said despite the progress made from the time the measures were initially announced, the country still finds itself in a situation where it needs to continue with heightened interventions to prevent and mitigate further spread of the disease.
He said measures are not meant to punish anyone but protect the lives of Zambians amidst the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic country.
“Government is cognisant of the fact that the interventions we have put in place to fight COVID-19 have negatively affected our people at various levels. Government in its decision making has had to delicately balance saving lives and allowing the wheels of our economy to continue to run.” he said.
He added that the COVID-19 response has been premised on curtailing the further spread of COVID-19 infection in the shortest possible time and steer the country to normalcy.
“Government does sympathize with our people who have been negatively affected by all these well-intended measures and it is our conviction that these measures have saved many lives.” He said.
And Mr Malupenga has also announced that only General Certificate of Education (GCE) and grade 9 external examinations would proceed as scheduled on Monday 19th July 2021.
He said the examinations have been allowed after a thorough consideration of taking into account that the numbers are not many and it is easier to apply the stipulated COVID-19 prevention measures as they are conducted.
Announcing the results of the detailed assessment concerning the measures announced last month on behalf of the President through the Secretary to Cabinet, Mr. Malupenga also said bars and restaurants will continue operating on a takeaway basis while nightclubs and casinos would remain closed.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Technical Services Dr Kennedy Malama appealed to all Zambians to support the established measures saying this would help the country reduce the positivity rate to below five percent.
“If we did things well, in the coming weeks I can assure you, we will be moving towards bringing COVID-19 under control and science doesn’t hide, if your positivity is 20 percent, you cannot say you’ve won, we are targeting to reduce it to five percent.” He said.