Zimbabwe

Let’s not lower our guard — Minister

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Senator Monica Mutsvangwa addresses journalists after this week’s Ad-Hoc Inter-Ministerial Taskforce on Covid-19 meeting at Munhumutapa Building in Harare yesterday

Herald Reporter

While Zimbabwe is recording successes in the fight against Covid-19 with falling infections, deaths and active cases, citizens must remain on high alert and continue strictly adhering to the control measures that are working as the infection still poses a huge threat to the population.

Government yesterday warned that the recent successes in the Covid-19 fight cannot be mistaken for total victory against the pandemic, which continues to infect and kill people.

Zimbabwe has been recording steady progress against the pandemic, first with falling daily numbers of infections and then since last week with falling numbers of deaths.

Despite losing 1 234 people to Covid-19 since the first Zimbabwean case, more than two thirds last month, Zimbabwe has been overcoming the second wave with the recovery rate now at more than 79 percent and the case fatality rate is now at 3,59 percent. There are now less than 6 000 active cases, down from a peak of more than 10 000, which is being handled by the upgraded health systems.

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Efforts to combat the spread of infection and bring daily infection rates down are largely due to strict enforcement of public health regulations and the heightened level of lockdown, while the vulnerable are being taken care of by the Government.

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said last night that last month had been a difficult month when many Covid-19 related deaths were recorded, including those of four national heroes.

“The taskforce noted a decreasing positivity rate from the peak in mid-January to the present, a clear indication that the surge in cases is now under control. However, this should not be seen as a reason to throw caution to the wind, but for the nation to vigilantly adhere to Covid-19 protocols.

“The past week, the cumulative number of countrywide arrests for flouting Covid-19 regulations increased by over 2 000 from 19 188 the previous week to 21 647,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

The regulations and protocols put in place by the Government had flattened and then reversed the infection curve as well as dropping Covid-19 related deaths.

Minister Mutsvangwa highlighted efforts the Government was making to cushion the vulnerable and homeless as strenuous efforts were made to ameliorate suffering arising from Covid-19 and to tackle other socially disadvantaged groups.

She said the protection and support of the vulnerable people in communities remained part of the Government’s Covid-19 response plan.

“Government has scaled up its social protection programmes during this peak hunger period which ranges from January to March. The Department of Social Welfare continues to shelter and repatriate children and persons living and working on the streets.”

“Presently, 128 individuals are being sheltered at Beatrice, Ruwa and Mt Hampden Rehabilitation Centres, as well as Northcot Training Institute.

“Government continues to work with development partners and non-governmental organisations to ensure that their programmes targeted at vulnerable groups carry on even during the lockdown period,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

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Minister Mutsvangwa reminded people of the need to continue adhering to the prescribed protocols to give the country a chance of turning the tide against the global epidemic.

“Fellow Zimbabweans, let us use the new month to strengthen our resolve to fight Covid-19. Experiences of the past month are a cautionary tale to each one of us and further highlight the need for Zimbabweans to join hands and work together to overcome this pandemic.

“Let us mask up, sanitise, practice good hygiene and stay at home,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

Government has been recruiting more nurses and doctors for the Ministry of Health and Child Care to cope with the higher workload brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.

HERALD