Harare, (New Ziana) – The Covid-19 national taskforce on Monday recommended the immediate reduction in the number of civil servants who are reporting for work in light of the increasing number of local infections being recorded.
For example, on Sunday Zimbabwe recorded 133 new transmissions of the virus with the majority of the positive cases being local transmissions.
Of concern is that of the 116 local transmissions recorded on Sunday, only 22 were contacts of confirmed cases while the source of infection of the remainder was not known.
This has been the trend over the past few weeks as the cumulative number of confirmed local transmissions rose from 286 to 791 only in one week, with the majority of the cases being recorded in Bulawayo and Harare.
Over the past week, local cases had surpassed the number of imported cases in Bulawayo, while in Harare the numbers were also creeping up.
In light of the situation, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said government was crafting punitive measures to penalize those who flouted isolation regulations, including escaping from quarantines centers.
“In the last week alone, we have lost seven Zimbabwean lives to this grim reaper, Covid-19. This is a moment we all worked hard and prayed hard that it would not come, but it is here,” she said.
“We cannot afford to be complacent, neither can we continue to put our lives at risk on the hope that somehow we can escape Covid-19. The reality is that as our infection cases increase our risk as a nation also increases. Covid-19 is now in our communities and we cannot ignore or run away from that fact.”
Mutsvangwa added: “The Taskforce (therefore) directed that only those civil servants who were approved by the Public Service Commission to provide essential service should report for work, with the rest remaining in lockdown.”
She encouraged people to stop being adventurous and comply with the preventative and protective measures.
“The National Taskforce was informed that most COVID19 cases are asymptomatic and can be isolated at home or in isolation facilities. The Taskforce emphasized that, to curtail further transmissions those isolating at home should adhere to the set conditions and measures agreed with the health authorities,” she said.
“Measures are being put in place to penalize those who flout isolation regulations.”
Mutsvangwa said government continued to provide food assistance to vulnerable members of society who had been affected by the Covid-19 lockdown.
“Government has released funds to 202 077 persons through cash transfers under the Covid-19 informal sector relief fund. This fund is targeting 1 million beneficiaries.”