Zimbabwe will no longer open schools in January in light of the surge in COVID-19 infections and threats posed by the Cyclone Chalane, officials said.

“In light of the surge in COVID-19 infections and the new and more contagious variants of the disease as well as threats by Cyclone Chalane, government has seen it fit to deviate from the previously announced 2021 schools’ calendar,” said the Education Ministry on Wednesday.

The statement further reads “the dates for the commencement of the 2021 schools’ calendar for all primary and secondary schools will be announced in the due course.”

Only students appearing in the 2020-2021 examinations will be allowed to return to school on Jan. 5 under strict COVID-19 guidance.

Schools were reopened in batches in starting from late October to cater for the examinations classes.

Schools closed for a two-week Christmas break but a number of learning institutions had by then been hit by COVID-19.

Zimbabwe has to date recorded a total of 13,325 COVID-19 cases including 359 deaths.

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