#JUSTIN: Call Off 31 July Protests, Gvt Warns Opposition As Local COVID-19 Cases Skyrocket

INFORMATION, publicity and broadcasting services Minister, Honorable Monica Mutsvangwa, has called on all political leaders to call off the planned 31 July protests citing COVID-19 infections fears, amidst a spike in local transmissions.

By Michael Gwarisa

In a media brief, Minister Mutsvangwa said in as much as the call protests was a democratic right, it was ill-timed and could expose millions of Zimbabweans to COVID-19 infections.

On 1 July, Zimbabwe recorded 14 new cases, on the 4th the number shot to 73 new cases, and yesterday our numbers jumped to 98. It is in view of this heightened increment in infection cases that I urge the public to continue to adhere to the lockdown regulations and practice preventatives and protective behavior. Government is urging each and one of us against complacency.

“In the same vein, we want to emphasize that the Second Republic embraces democratic principles and is the midst of far reaching reforms which deepen and widen the democratic space. Zimbabweans, we are in the midst of an existential threat. Any political posturing is not helpful. We therefore call upon public figures and political players to act responsibly with the safety of Zimbabweans in mind,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

She added that any call for mass action at this time is an unnecessary stoking of infection risk to the nation.

“This country cannot afford adventurism in the midst of this threat to our very existence. Indeed in the face of COVID19, Government continues to do its best to mitigate the impact of this pandemic. We continue to review and update our COVID19 Response and Action Plan in line with prevailing conditions in the country and new information coming from the World Health Organization.”

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe this week Zimbabwe passed the 100 day mark from the day the first 21 days total lockdown was announced.

“At that time Zimbabwe had recorded five positive cases of COVID19 and had lost one of its young persons to the virus. 110 days later our positive cases stand at 885, with 206 recoveries and 9 deaths.  While the majority of our positive cases have been recorded among returnees, the emerging trend of local transmissions is worrying.

“The lockdown and the preventative and protective measures that Government has instituted are intended to minimize the spread and transmission of COVID19. There is no cure yet for this virus and as a nation we must be cognizant of our circumstances and be responsible citizens who need minimal supervision in preserving their lives and those of their loved ones.”

She added that from 27 March 2020, significant progress has been made, this includes: The setting up of quarantine facilities for the screening of returnees, the setting up of isolation facilities for the treatment of COVID19 cases that require hospitalization, the improvement in the provision of clean and safe water to medical facilities and rural communities, and in light of the economic implications of the total lockdown on the informal sector, Government introduced a cushioning allowance for members of the informal sector

A total of 196 397 out of a target of one million people have so far received the allowance.







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