Booster shots for front-line workers
Harare(New Ziana) – Zimbabwe’s front-line workers and vulnerable members of society will be offered booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccine with immediate effect, government announced on Friday.
The green-light for booster shots comes against the backdrop of rising infections as the new Covid-19 variant, dubbed Omicron, has been detected in the country.
Although the number of infections attributable to the new variant is yet to be ascertained, Zimbabwe recorded 1 042 new cases of Covid-19 Thursday, up from 712 on Wednesday.
According to official statistics, by Wednesday the total number of confirmed cases was 136 379, recovered 128 829, active cases 2 843 and 4 707 deaths.
In light of the looming threat posed by the new variant, health authorities have approved the administration of booster shots.
“Booster doses for frontline workers, those with chronic diseases and the elderly to commence with immediate effect,” Health and Child Care acting permanent secretary Dr Robert Mudyiradima said.
In terms of vaccination, 20 588 got their first dose on Wednesday, bringing cumulative for first dose to 3 829 636 while 21 083 got their second dose.
This brought the cumulative for second dose to 2 851 625.
Meanwhile, Mudyiradima further clarified new quarantine rules for returning residents and visitors.
He said all returning residents and visitors shall be subjected to mandatory PCR testing, notwithstanding that they present a PCR negative test result from elsewhere.
“Those found to be negative will be quarantined at their own cost for 10 days. Those in quarantine will be retested after 5 days. Those who are found to be PCR positive or have signs and symptoms will be isolated,” he said. “Returning residents and visitors who have been outside the country for more than 14 days found to be PCR negative will be subjected to a mandatory ten-day quarantine at designated public or private COVID-19 quarantine facilities at their own cost, while those that have been outside the country for a period less than 14
days may be allowed to self-quarantine at their respective homes. However, home quarantine will be granted prior to inspection and approval of the facilities.”
He added that diplomats, VIPS and VVIPs visiting the country on official Government business will be handled through usual diplomatic channels.