Zimbabwe’s response to Covid-19 has so far prevented a catastrophic spread of the outbreak, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said, while encouraging citizens to guard against complacency and continue to abide by the protocols and measures currently being applied. Mutsvangwa said the resumption of international flights and the imminent re-opening of Victoria Falls International Airport on 1 October 2020, is well on course and that the assessments of other major airports has been completed.
Recently, the Health Ministry held a special consultative meeting with all key stakeholders in the tourism industry to provide technical guidance on the implementation of Standard Operating Procedures for the re-opening of the designated ports of entry. “As a measure to guarantee the safety of travellers, Cabinet further resolved that in line with Statutory Instrument 216(5) Section 8, which requires travellers showing Covid-19 symptoms, whether or not they have a covid-19-free certificate to be tested, a nominal fee of US$60 be levied on travellers tested at ports of entry, and that the proceeds be used to replenish laboratory commodities Metered taxi operations have been allowed to resume services to allow for the movement of tourists and citizens who are unable to use public transport,” she said
With regard to Law and Order, she said: “Cabinet advises that in response to its earlier decision to further ease lockdown restrictions, security personnel will be directing greater attention towards the enforcement of critical COVID-19 containment measures such as physical distancing and the proper donning of face masks.” Following the decision to allow for the phased reopening of schools, cabinet noted that the dissemination of COVID-19 Standard Operational Procedures has laid the foundation for the establishment of Sentinel Surveillance Centres.
The centres will assist in monitoring adherence to Covid-19 protocols and promote a safe learning environment. “Every school has been linked to a specific health team. This strategy will ensure active Rapid Response at local level. Designated Temporary Isolation Holding Bays have been set up at each school for individuals requiring further health attention after screening,” Mutsvangwa said.
“There is mandatory logging and thermal screening at every school entry and exit point in order to enhance contract tracing and surveillance. Schools that are unable to provide water are being advised that they cannot re-open before the situation is rectified.” Zimbabwe has now recorded 7837 Cases, 6122 recoveries and 228 Deaths.