Government says the country cannot afford to remain complacent as confirmed local transmission of Covid-19 has risen beyond exported cases within a space of one week.
In a weekly briefing yesterday, Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Monica Mutsvangwa said: “In the last week alone, we have lost seven Zimbabwean lives to this grim reaper, Covid-19.
This is a moment we all worked hard and prayed hard that it would not come, but it is here.
My fellow Zimbabweans, we have to confront this reality that it will take you and I to keep ourselves safe.
“The cumulative number of confirmed local transmission cases has exponentially risen from 286 to 791 only in one week. The majority of these cases are being recorded in Bulawayo and Harare, surpassing imported cases in the former.
“Zimbabwe, we cannot afford to be complacent neither can we continue to put our lives at risk on the hope that somehow we can escape Covid-19.
The reality is that as our infection cases increase, our risk as a nation also increases. Covid-19 is now in our communities and we cannot ignore or run away from that fact.
Our only hope is to stop being adventurous and comply with the preventative and protective measures.” Secretary for information, Nick Mangwana, said security is being tightened to restrict CBDs to essential workers only.
“Yesterday (Sunday), 133 positive cases were registered. There are some cases of deaths, which are awaiting test results on whether Covid-19 was the cause.
Security is being tightened to ensure only essential services can be allowed through to CBDs. We apologize for any inconveniences,” he tweeted.
Yesterday, the National Taskforce on Covid-19 met and received reports from its Subcommittees and deliberated on a number of matters, induding:
• HEALTH STRATEGY AND INFRASTRUCTURE
The National Taskforce was informed that most Covid-19 cases are asymptomatic and can be isolated at home or in isolation facilities.
The Taskforce emphasised that, to curtail further transmissions, those isolating at home should adhere to the set conditions and measures agreed with the health authorities.
Measures are being put in place to penalize those who flout isolation regulations.
The Taskforce also received a presentation on the distribution of local positive cases across the country, which cannot be linked to an identifiable source. Once again, while these positive cases are dotted through-out the country, they are mostly concentrated in Bulawayo and Harare.
The Taskforce directed that only those civil servants who were approved by the Public Service Commission to provide essential service should report for work.
Additionally, following the recorded infection at the Chin-hoyi University of Technology and in line with the guidelines for the re-opening of universities and colleges, the Taskforce resolved that the said institution undertake all necessary and sensible steps to close.
The Taskforce also received an update on the implementation of the World Health Organisation Guidelines for Discharge of clients from isolation, which has been imple-mented and this has de-congested isolation and quarantine facilities.
• QUARANTINE AND ISOLATION CENTRES
The country continues to receive returning citizens and legal residents. Government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade is facilitating the transportation of returning Zimbabwean students from across the globe, through repatriation flights.
The Taskforce received reports of positive Covid-19 return-ees who are absconding from isolation facilities, thus endan-gering their families and communities.
Members of the public are reminded that absconding from quarantine and isolation facilities is a level 12 offence under Covid-19 regulations, which may result in up to a year in prison.