Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu has announced the reopening of schools and bars as Covid-19 cases begin to slow.

Addressing parliament in Lusaka on Friday, Mr Lungu said schools, colleges and universities would now reopen between 14 and 23 September. Only students in examination classes had been attending classes.

Mr Lungu said bars would partially open on a pilot basis while observing precautionary measures such as social distancing and sanitising of hands.

He said bars would operate from Fridays to Sundays from 18:00 to 23:00.

“In March, I ordered closure of bars in March to fight Covid-19. I have listened to the suffering of owners of bars and nightclubs have experienced due to closure… I therefore announce partial reopening of these places effective Friday,” he said.

Zambia has had 13,214 coronavirus cases since the first case was reported in March, with 300 deaths, according to the John Hopkins University.