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Midlands struck hard by COVID-19 as cases spike

by commuadmin

CommuTalk Reporter

GWERU: Midlands is fast becoming a COVID-19 hotspot following spiraling cases in Gweru and Kwekwe districts.

In Kwekwe a lecturer at Kwekwe Poly Technic on Tuesday succumbed to Covid-19 while 45 students and two other lecturers at institution has tested positive to the deadly disease.

In a related case, an announced number of students at Gweru Polytechnic are currently in quarantine at the institution’s hostels after they tested positive to the virus while testing under contact tracing is ongoing, officials have confirmed.

Reports also say Gweru government complex is temporarily closed following reports that some employees in the building had also tested positive for COVID-19.

The virus has not also spared rural communities like Chirumhanzu following the death of former Mvuma Primary headmaster, Sifelani Zhou in Mvuma a day after testing positive for COVID-19.

Kwekwe District Covid 19 Taskforce chairperson, Vitalis Kwashira who also confirmed the developments said they have since recommended for the suspension of lectures at Kwekwe Polytechnic to allow for close monitoring.

“Following the recorded death and a surge in positive cases at the institution, we have written to the relevant departments and we also recommended that the college be temporarily closed so that we can be able to conduct contact tracing.

“The idea is that if we close down the place, we are able to isolate those who tested positive at the institution. It is almost impossible to manage the situation if lessons continue to be conducted,” said Kwashira.

Most of the students at the institution are accommodated in surrounding suburbs that include Msasa and Mbizo.

Kwashira said they have started contact tracing while waiting for a response on recommendations to close down the institution.

Kwekwe has been under a localized lockdown since May after the detection of the Indian variant in the mining town.

On Tuesday, cabinet extended the lockdown in the city by a further two weeks as cases continue to surge.

Meanwhile, law enforcement agencies have intensified enforcing lockdown regulations in the city after government raised a flag at the weekend.

State Security Minister, Owen Ncube who is also in Charge of COVID-19 mitigation team in Midlands Province last weekend expressed concern on the wanton disregard of COVID-19 regulations in the city while acting Provincial Medical Director Reginald Mhene expressed need to have more testing equipment brought to the province.

As at 24 June, Midlands province had 95 new cases and two deaths while the Kwekwe which is the sole hotspot in the province has 36 cases. Zimbabwe on the same date recorded 826 new cases and 17 deaths.

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