LUSAKA, Zambia

Zambia on Monday reopened schools after a significant reduction in COVID-19 infections.

The country has, however, kept pubs and nightclubs closed with restaurants operating on a takeaway basis for another 21 days.

Addressing a news conference in the capital Lusaka, Amos Malupenga, a top information official, said “the president has directed that boarding schools for grade nine, 10, 11, and 12, day secondary schools for grade nine, 11, and 12, and primary schools for grade seven will open by Aug. 5, 2021.”

The situation will be closely monitored and the decision may be revisited depending on the pandemic situation, Malupenga added.

He said that universities, colleges, and other institutions of higher learning will continue with online classes for the next 21 days.

Gymnasiums will also remain closed for the next three weeks, with workshops, conferences, general meetings, weddings, and kitchen parties canceled, according to the official.

“Funerals have been restricted to 50 mourners, while markets and public transport operators will ensure the wearing of masks and physical distancing,” Malupenga said.

The Southern African country’s COVID-19 caseload stands at 196,490 with 3,412 related deaths and 188,950 recoveries.

At least 439,000 doses of COVID vaccines have been administered, according to Our World in Data, a tracking website affiliated with Oxford University.

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