Mukudzei Chingwere-Herald Reporter
All ports of entry have been reopened to fully vaccinated travellers with valid Covid-19 PCR test certificates following convincing progress in the containment of the virus.
Cabinet agreed to the reopening of land ports after a prolonged closure brought about by the need to control the spread of the virus.
Prior to last night’s announcement, borders were opened for commercial activity with the airports catering for other non-commercial activities including returning residents.
Speaking after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said: “In view of the continued decline in new cases and deaths coupled with a declining testing positivity rate that is indicating that the community transmission has gone down, all ports of entry be: reopened but ensuring that all the recommended Covid-19 prevention measures are adhered to.
“All persons entering Zimbabwe must have undergone a valid Covid-19 PCR test not more than 48 hours from the time of their departure for Zimbabwe, and fully vaccinated.
“Those who have received a booster vaccine shot have an entry advantage.
“Despite the continued decline in the number of new cases and deaths reported per day, strict enforcement of all Covid-19 regulations coupled with strengthened risk communication on the pandemic must continue since the pandemic is not yet over.”
Zimbabwe has also managed to contain the spread of Covid-19 in schools. Since the resumption of classes this month no learner has tested positive for the virus while only one teacher in the country has tested positive.
Minister Mutsvangwa said there were sufficient stocks of vaccines and urged those that had not yet been vaccinated to take advantage of the national vaccination programme.
She also encouraged people to go for booster shots.
Government has committed to release more money to respond to the virus and Minister Mutsvangwa gave an update on the continued response to the global pandemic.
“Provinces should take advantage of the reopening of schools to ramp up vaccinations for those who are 16 years and above.
“The Ministry of Health and Child Care came up with vaccination targets per month for each province in order to help ramp up vaccination as well as urgently identify and address any challenges in a timely fashion.
“Treasury will release adequate funds to support vaccine risk communication and community engagement campaigns as well as the updated provincial vaccine strategies and micro-plans that aim to ramp up vaccinations,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
Speaking on the situation in schools after an update from the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Minister Mutsvangwa said Cabinet noted with concern, failure by some teachers to report for duty.
“Of particular concern, is the alleged barring of some teachers from attending to their work as well as attendance by some teachers without delivering lessons.
“The Minister of Primary and Secondary Education has been instructed to take stern action in consultation with the chairman of the Public Service Commission and the Ministers of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development; and Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.
“An appropriate statement on the matter will be issued by the minister soonest.
“Cabinet would like to commend those teachers who have continued to attend to their duties,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.