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Zimbabwe face mask rules relaxed

by Staff reporter
09 Oct 2022 at 07:53hrs | Views
Zimbabweans who received  two doses of Covid-19 vaccines are no longer required to wear face masks in public, according to new regulations gazetted on Friday.

In terms of Statutory Instrument 169 of 2022, face masks remain mandatory indoors and on public transportation. Before the gazetting of the regulations, only the triple-vaccinated were exempt from wearing face masks in public.

Reads the SI in part: "The wearing of face masks is mandatory  —  indoors at workplaces and places to which the public have access, or in public conveyances (taxis and commuter and other buses, goods, public service vehicles and trains and aeroplanes carrying passengers); outdoors in public places, except for those individuals who are fully vaccinated (that is to say those who have been vaccinated at least twice against Covid-19)."

As at October 5, Zimbabwe had recorded 257 655 confirmed cases of the virus, including 251 640 recoveries and 5 604 deaths. A total of 6 533 054 people had been vaccinated against Covid-19.

In a recent interview, Chief Co-ordinator of the National Response to the Covid-19 pandemic in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Dr Agnes Mahomva, said the pandemic was reasonably under control.

"We are proud to have a strong and committed leadership who responded swiftly to the pandemic when it started," said Dr Mahomva.

"A whole Government and community approach really helped to level the curve to where it is now, the curve is now reasonably flat, a sign that the pandemic is now under control."

She said case numbers were at their lowest since the last wave in mid-December 2021.

"The pandemic is, therefore, being brought under control with the national response on track to seeing the end of the pandemic soon."

Medical and Dental Private Practitioners of Zimbabwe Association (MDPPZA) president, Dr Johannes Marisa, said the pandemic was nearing its end, commending Government for a robust vaccination programme.

"We now have what we call an endemic situation, which means there will be few isolated cases," he said.

"Covid-19 incidents are at an all-time low and no more waves are coming and that is a good thing.

"We commend the government for a wholesome vaccination drive that saved the country from deaths, there was equitable distribution of vaccines which were accessible to everyone and everywhere."

Source - The Sunday Mail