Two students at Harare Polytechnic have been suspended by college authorities for hugging on campus on Monday.
Yolanda Musithu, a female student doing National Diploma in Office Management with the institution, and Blessing Pasipanodya, were suspended on Thursday.
They are accused of violating the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Ministry of Health and Child Care COVID-19 prevention measures. A letter written to Musithu by college authorities read:
You, Yolanda Musithu C, a student at Harare Polytechnic doing National Diploma in Office Management violated WHO, Government and Harare Polytechnic COVID19 regulations.
You were caught by the Principal on 22 March 2021 hugging Blessing Pasipanodya an NC DDT student.
This was in direct violation of WHO, Government and institutional standing COVID 19 regulations.
The institution conducted health education on COVID 19 through posters on notice boards at the entrance but you opted to ignore these regulations.
While WHO and the government have not banned hugging, health authorities encourage social distancing to minimise the transmission of the coronavirus from one person to another.
Social distancing refers to measures taken to increase the physical space between people to slow the spread of the virus.
They include staying home more often, catching up with loved ones online instead of in person, strictly limiting the number of visitors to your home, and staying away from other people when you are in a public space.
The WHO recommends being more than one metre (three feet) away from the nearest person, while some health experts have suggested maintaining a distance of at least two metres from others.