Gibson Nyikadzino-Herald Correspondent
COVID-19 regulations and protocols have not been relaxed for the Easter and Independence Day holidays despite low rates of new infections in the last few weeks.
Responding to questions from the media at a post-Cabinet briefing in Harare last week, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Professor Paul Mavima urged everyone to remain vigilant as the Covid-19 threat remained undiminished ahead of the winter season.
“There are no relaxations that have been effected on existing provisions. Everything remains as is. We have people coming to Zimbabwe for the Easter and Independence holidays, hence there is no relaxation whatsoever and we are continuing with that position,” said Prof Mavima.
Fully vaccinated visitors can enter Zimbabwe without the need for a PCR test, but those unvaccinated or with only one dose of vaccine must present a recent negative test.
Prof Mavima said everyone must conduct their activities and business within the stipulated frameworks pertaining to the number of gatherings, wearing of face masks, sanitising of hands and observation of all regulations.
“Despite a dip we have so far registered, we still expect very few gatherings or gatherings being conducted within the stipulated limits and also maximum sanitisation. There is winter coming and we need to remain vigilant.
“We should adhere to laid down procedures and World Health Organisation protocols.”
On Wednesday, 66 new cases, all local, were recorded and no deaths.
On Tuesday there were 25 hospitalised cases with one being asymptomatic, 19 mild to moderate while five were in intensive care units. Of the hospitalised cases, five were vaccinated while 20 were not.
This fits in with statistics from other countries that show that while vaccination helps prevent infection, it also means that when there is infection it is usually less severe.
Since March 20, 2022 when the first case was reported, Zimbabwe has recorded 247 160 cases, 240 754 recoveries and 5 460 deaths.
In terms of vaccination, 5 752 577 have received their first dose, while 3 602 649 have their second dose and 551 503 their third or booster shots.