Harare, (New Ziana)- Cabinet has resolved that vegetable markets will now open for six days with mandatory closure on the seventh to allow for disinfection in light of the rise in Covid-19 cases, a Cabinet Minister said on Wednesday.
The development comes as Covid-19 cases now stand at 4 221 including 81 deaths, with the country experiencing a spike in confirmed locally transmitted infections.
Addressing a post Cabinet media briefing, Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Minister Sithembiso Nyoni said the measures were precautionary to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the markets.
“As a precautionary measure to curb the transmission of Covid-19 at food markets, which are characterized by crowding, poor sanitization and lack of reticulated water, Cabinet resolved as follows; that the restructuring of the vegetable markets bays in line with Covid-19 protocols be done in all vegetable markets; that markets operate a six-day-cycle with mandatory closure for disinfection on the seventh day,” she said.
Nyoni said all vendors at stalls should exercise extreme precautions like the use of sanitisers and consistent hand-washing with soap and running water and that a targeted Information Education Campaign be conducted to promote a new-normal among traders and customers at these markets.
“Government will also come up with measures to be enforced in other places where people converge in large numbers,” she said.
In light of increasing cases, Cabinet also directed that all hospitals should admit patients without the requirement for a prior COVID-19 test result and proceed to do a PCR test on admission.
“To that end, the Ministry of Health and Child Care has already directed all public and private health institutions to establish Patient-Under-Investigation zones to ensure that no patients are turned away,” said Nyoni.
Cumulatively, Zimbabwe has conducted 137 808 Covid-19 tests .
In light of the spike in Covid-19 cases, the number of tests done per week has doubled with the average tests per day standing at 1 130 as compared to 559 from the week ending 24 July 2020.