Zimbabwe reviews lockdown curfew

Monica Mutsvangwa (Image: Ziana)

THE government has relaxed business closing hours and announced that immigrants who have tested negative for #Covid-19 will no longer be detained upon arrival in the country.

Information Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa confirmed the development at a post-cabinet media briefing in Harare this Tuesday.

She said, “having noted the plight of the public and the need to lessen the risk of contracting COVID-19, Cabinet directed as follows: (a) that the business hours which were ending at 15:00 hours be revisited to end at 1630 hours and the curfew to be extended to 2000 hours;

“(b) that Public transport drivers undergo regular COVID-19 PCR tests and (c) that public transport buses be allowed a dedicated lane at roadblocks to expedite their passage.”

In addition, immigrants who have tested negative for #Covid-19 will no longer be detained on arrival.

“Cabinet has further directed that immigrants who are PCR negative on arrival will no longer be detained but be put on home quarantine and reviews will be conducted by the Rapid Response Teams in that locality. Those who test positive on arrival will be placed in isolation centres,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

“Cabinet assures members of the public that measures are being put in place to ensure that health workers return to work, as the success of implementing the COVID-19 response is hinges on the availability of health staff.  Acquisition of Protective Personal Equipment (PPE) for health workers and front liners is being prioritized.”

Meanwhile, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who is also the minister of health and child care, has presented to Cabinet a report on the ongoing restructuring of the ministry.

Said Minister Mutsvangwa; “Government has approved the introduction of four pillars in the health delivery system, namely: Pharmaceuticals and Biopharmaceuticals product manufacturing; Biomedical Engineering, targeting the manufacturing of ventilators, hospital beds and other essential equipment; Biomedical Science and Laboratory Science, incorporating research on pathogens and the manufacturing of consumables such as reagents; and Public Health Strategy and Guidelines Formulation.

“The revamping of the Health System is expected to result in robust medical services. It is expected that the wide ranging reforms will transform the health sector by introducing systems that work in the national interest.”