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Zimra officials test positive to Covid-19 at Beitbridge border

by Staff reporter
02 Dec 2020 at 10:14hrs | Views
The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) is streamlining operation at Beitbridge where eight of its employees tested positive for Covid-19.

The tests are part of strict and tight health management measures the Government employed to ensure the safety of travelers and its workers under the new border set up.

Everyone leaving or entering the country through Beitbridge is being thoroughly screened at the entrance of the border arena and all buildings.

Beitbridge, Plumtree, Forbes, Chirundu, and Victoria Falls land borders re-opened to passenger traffic on Tuesday morning.

As a precautionary measure, towards the re-opening, the Ministry of Health and Child Care tested all border workers to ascertain the exact number of those fit for duty.

In a statement today, Zimra said it was taking the necessary precautionary steps, as guided by World Health Organisation with the assistance of the Ministry of Health and Childcare to ensure the safety of its workers and travelling public.

"ZIMRA is very aware that due to the unique location of our offices and stations coupled with the essential nature of the services we provide there is a need to remain vigilant in observing and practicing procedures that reduce exposure to COVID-19.

In order to safeguard employees, clients, and the public, Zimra continues to implement guidelines from the World Health Organisation and the Ministry of Health and Childcare in reducing the impact of the COVID 19 threat to operations and human life," said the revenue collector.

All stakeholders at Beitbridge have had tests done as well as contact tracing and our staff continues to offer essential services under Covid-19 protocols.

Some of the steps taken include; testing contacts of all suspected Covid-19 cases and that it had immediately closed some offices for disinfection.

"The re-opening of disinfected offices will be done with the assistance and guidance of the relevant local medical authorities.

"Where practical Zimra stations and offices maintain critical skeleton staff. In addition, staff are being provided with appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and sanitisers; and services are, as much as possible, being offered to clients/agents via electronic means" said the statement.

Zimra said it was encouraging travelers to use clearance methods of goods which minimise human interface between its employees and clients.

In addition, all travelers importing dutiable goods must pre-clear and pre-pay before arriving at the border to reduce crowding and the time spent at border posts.

"As a mitigating measure against the spread of COVID-19 virus, clients are encouraged to access, utilise the available ZIMRA e-service facilities on or and reduce the risks associated with travelling or handling physical documents," said the revenue collector.

The authority also called on people to prioritise public health at all ports of entry.

Meanwhile, ninety-five new Covid-19 cases were recorded today, as cases continue to rise.

However, no death was reported in the last 24 hours.

The rise in cases has left the seven-day rolling average for new cases at 104.

Yesterday, 1 029 PCR tests were done, implying a positivity rate of 9,2 percent.

A daily Covid-19 update released by the Ministry of Health and Child Care last night shows that all the 95 cases are local transmissions.

The spate of new cases recorded in the last seven days has left active cases at 1 209.

As of yesterday, Zimbabwe has recorded 10 129 cases, 8 643 recoveries and 277 deaths.

Government continues to implore citizens to observe guidelines aimed at containing the spread of Covid-19, which include wearing of face masks in public, maintaining social distance, washing hands with soap or ash and sanitising, among others.

South Africa has now surpassed 780 000 cases and has the highest cases and deaths per capita in the SADC region.

Source - chronicle