Government has announced that all schools in Zambia are to be closed effective Friday, 20 March, 2020 as a heightened preparedness strategy in view of the coronavirus that has hit some African countries.

Speaking at a press briefing held at ndeke house, Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya said the date of opening of schools will be determined as the pandemic evolves.

He said that Zambia has not confirmed any case thus it has put in place preventive measures.

All schools, colleges, and universities will close this Friday and between now and this Friday we will be disseminating knowledge of how to prevent COVID19.

Dr. Chilufya said.

The Minister stated the that Statutory instrument enacted for COVID-19 means it is a notifiable disease and citizens must abide by instructions from authorities.

He added that his ministry has so far trained over 500 health workers in preparation to treat the virus.

Dr Chilufya further urged communities to report any suspected symptoms to authorities.

Meanwhile, National Action for Quality Education in Zambia(NAQEZ) welcomed the decision by government to close all learning institutions in a bid to curb the spread of the deadly Corona Virus.

Speaking in an interview with the Lusaka star, NAQEZ Executive Director Aaron Chansa said while the announcement appears devastating to the Zambian academic calendar,the decision was inevitable considering the agonising Social and economic consequences of a country recording this virus.

He said enabling Corona virus in Zambia would be catastrophic with the fact that both our health system and the economy are too overstretched and may not be able to cope with a disease such as Covid-19.

Life is too precious to be exposed to a virus such as this fast spreading global disaster and we agree with the decision by government,

Mr. Chansa said.

The NAQEZ Executive Director said the closure of learning institutions will have negative and far reaching academic effects in the country but it is a carefully considered position aimed at protecting the children and the nation at large.