All church gatherings to obtain clearance this Easter

Jenfan Muswere
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This Easter all gatherings including large church gatherings must obtain prior health clearance to ensure the diminishing threat of cholera does not suddenly explode, must be supervised by health authorities, and there must be adequate clean water and sanitation measures in place before approval is granted.

Information Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere said the Cabinet directive was aimed at minimising the spread of cholera. Over Easter, churches teem with congregants, many visit special shrines, and there are often large secular gatherings as well.

“In light of the impending Easter Holidays, Cabinet has directed the Ministry of Health and Child Care to intensify monitoring and supervision of all gatherings in order to minimise the spread of cholera,” said Dr Muswere.

Zimbabwe is among the best countries on the continent in beating back communicable diseases like cholera, having registered outstanding success in containing the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Cabinet further directed that, going forward, no church gatherings must take place until church leaders install solar powered boreholes or bush pump boreholes as well as sanitation facilities.

“All gatherings must obtain prior clearance and should be supervised by health authorities. Cabinet noted with concern that some churches continue to gather in places without safe water or sanitation facilities.

“His Excellency the President, Cde Dr Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, has since directed that solarised water facilities and boreholes should be installed in order to ensure the provision of safe water and sanitation at Karuyana Shrine among other sites,” said Dr Muswere.

Government had managed to contain the spread of cholera through interventions like the general improvement of sanitation facilities and the provision of clean, safe water to drink, by drilling boreholes in areas with challenges of getting clean water.

However, the impending Easter holidays would see many Christians converging and concerns had been raised that cholera might breed if proper sanitation measures were not put in place.

Dr Muswere said the Ministry of Health and Child Care continued to conduct integrated training in case management, surveillance, infection prevention and control, and social mobilisation for Midlands, Masvingo, Mashonaland Central, and Mashonaland West Provinces in order to augment staff already trained.

“Known hotspots are being targeted with community awareness and the deployment of oral rehydration points and establishment of cholera treatment camps,” said Dr Muswere.

“Furthermore, the Ministry is working with Apostolic Women Empowerment Trust in training interfaith leaders in Manicaland and Masvingo Provinces, with the objective to strengthen actions to address collaborative and collective initiatives in the response to the cholera and polio outbreaks.” – Herald