The Zambian government announced the closure of all schools, colleges, and universities in view of the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease although the country has not recorded any case.
Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya told journalists at a briefing in Lusaka, that Zambia has not recorded any case of Coronavirus, but will put measures to prevent the disease.
The Catholic Church has announced the indefinite closure of all Major Seminaries due to the coronavirus.
Those closed are Emmaus Spirituality Centre, St. Augustine’s Major Seminary and St. Dominic’s Major Seminary.
Bishop Justine Mulenga, the Director of Seminaries in a memo circulated to the affected seminaries emphasized on the need to heed to this directive and make all necessary arrangements for the departure of all students.
Bishop Mulenga said the completion of the second semester will resume as soon as the outbreak is contained.
He acknowledged that is a very sad development but expressed hope that this outbreak will be contained in the nearest time possible.
Dr Chilufya stated that government has heightened its preparedness and surveillance against the pandemic by instituting screening at all entry border points and by suspending all public gatherings.
The Minister who was franked by the Minister of Higher education and General Education stated that all schools, colleges, and universities will be closed effect from Friday, March 20, 2020.
He stressed that the public will be notified when the schools will be opened in line with the evolvement of the outbreak.
He added that the government has directed all its missions abroad to review visa applications to would-be travelers in high-risk countries.
Dr Chilufya has also advised Zambians planning to travel to countries with high numbers of the disease to consider rescheduling their plans.
He said the country has also involved airlines to ensure all passengers on flights to Zambia are screened, while buses from neighbouring countries will dock at the dry port which has been set up along Kafue road.
Meanwhile, Minister of General Education David Mabumba has praised President Edgar Lungu for allowing schools to close so that all pupils and students could return home to avoid crowded places that could necessitate the spread of coronavirus.
Mr Mabumba said the decision to close schools is a difficult one, but has to be made to protect children from the deadly disease.
And Higher Education Minister Brian Mushimba disclosed that the government will release the grants for higher learning institutions for the month of March before the universities close this Friday.
Dr Mushimba regretted that the grant which would have been released between 6 and 10 march delayed, but assured that it will be released before the universities close this Friday as a result of the Coronavirus threat.
He has disclosed that grants for colleges and other TEVET institutions were released last week and have been received and assured that any outstanding balance will also be settled