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Zimbabwe govt gets tough over face masks

by Staff reporter
30 Sep 2020 at 07:35hrs | Views
GOVERNMENT yesterday said soldiers and police would remain at strategic points to enforce COVID-19 containment measures such as physical distancing and proper wearing of face masks despite relaxation of most lockdown regulations.

Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa Information, Media and Broadcasting Services minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the decision was meant to guarantee the safety of people and curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic that has claimed 228 lives in the country.

"With regard to law and order, Cabinet advises that in response to its earlier decision to further ease lockdown restrictions, security personnel will be directing greater attention towards the enforcement of critical COVID-19 containment measures such as physical distancing and the proper donning of face masks," Mutsvangwa said in a statement after Cabinet's weekly meeting yesterday.

She said the Cabinet was informed that as at September 25, 2020, Zimbabwe's cumulative cases of COVID-19 stood at 7 787, with 6 057 recoveries and 227 deaths and that 6 415 of the COVID-19 cases were locally transmitted.

Mutsvangwa urged citizens to guard against complacency and continue to abide by the protocols and measures currently being applied.

The Information minister said cross-border travellers would be required to have a COVID-19-free certificate, which would be available for a US$60 fee.

"Cabinet further resolved that in line with Statutory Instrument 216(5) Section 8, which requires travellers showing COVID-19 symptoms, whether or not they have a COVID-19-free certificate to be tested, a nominal fee of US$60 be levied on travellers tested at ports of entry, and that the proceeds be used to replenish laboratory commodities. Metered taxi operations have been allowed to resume services to allow for the movement of tourists and citizens who are unable to use public transport," she said.

Mutsvangwa said Cabinet was also seized with proposals on the revival of the National Housing Fund, which the National Housing and Social Amenities minister Daniel Garwe presented.

She said the general demand for housing from local authorities stood at two million units.

"Cabinet noted that in terms of statistics available, the general demand for housing in Zimbabwe stands at two million housing units. The effective demand for housing from local authorities' waiting lists stands at 1,5 million units, inclusive of civil servants' requirements."

She said this was because the government disposed of more than 75% of its pool properties to sitting tenants as an empowerment initiative.

Cabinet also resolved to implement strategies to revamp production to ensure food security, to increase import substitution, to diversify and increase exports, and to increase value-addition and beneficiation.

"In fulfilment of these objectives, Cabinet noted that the distribution of inputs will be expedited for crops as well as for livestock production, while Agritex will be capacitated to achieve greater mobility following the procurement of motorbikes that will soon be distributed to the provinces. The Agritex officers are already assisting farmers countrywide with soil sampling and analysis in order to ensure appropriate agronomic practices," Mutsvangwa said.

Source - newsday
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