Covid-19: Zim to re-tighten lockdown measures

Covid-19: Zim to re-tighten lockdown measures

Harare (New Ziana)-The government said on Tuesday enforcement of lockdown measures will be tightened following the rise in Covid-19 cases over the past three weeks.

The country has been recording at least 56 new Covid-19 cases for the past 7 days, amid indications of complacency issues among citizens.

This has seen cumulative cases rising to 9 308 including 273 deaths.

Addressing a post–Cabinet media briefing, Environment and Tourism Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu reminded the public that the national lockdown meant to slow down the spread of infections remained in force.

“Cabinet notes, with concern, that there has been an increase in COVID-19 positive cases over the past three weeks. Cabinet reiterates that the lockdown and curfew measures previously announced are still subsisting. It should be noted that public bars, night clubs, beer-halls, casinos, betting shops and theatres are still not permitted to operate.

“The nation is informed that gatherings are still limited to two persons, while authorised events such as weddings and church congregations are limited to fifty and one hundred persons, respectively,” he said.

Ndlovu added: “The enforcement of lockdown measures will be intensified henceforth. It should be emphasized that where there is non-compliance to these regulations the low enforcement agencies will not hesitate to enforce the penalties prescribed.”

Cabinet also noted that a number of COVID-19 positive cases were reported at learning institutions following the full re-opening of schools.

For instance, John Tallach School in Matabeleland North province has to date recorded 184 Covid-19 cases among its learners.

Ndlovu said measures had been put in place to strengthen protective and preventative measures in boarding school environments.

“The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education with technical support from the Ministry of Health and Child Care, is organising logistics for implementing the following practical measures to minimise the recurrence of the John Tallach School experience in other boarding schools; reviewing the maximum carrying capacity of all boarding hostels; conducting detailed inspection of boarding facilities; and targeted training of hostel matron, boarding masters as well as kitchen staff.

“In order to guarantee fresh water to schools in need, Cabinet reports that ZW$150 million was released to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education for the drilling of boreholes,” he said.

With the festive season fast approaching, Ndlovu advised the public to take all the necessary precautions to prevent a further surge in COVID-19 positive cases.

“Those visiting the country should undergo COVID-19 tests in their countries of origin and bring valid COVID-19 negative results obtained within 48 hours of departure in line with WHO protocols. Meanwhile, a robust awareness creation programme is being rolled out under which the engagement of communities is being strengthened,” he said.

The government has also assured the nation that the National Pharmaceutical Company and private companies have adequate stocks of most medicines and drugs required for the prevention, treatment and supportive management of COVID-19.

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