#BREAKING: Zim Lockdown Restrictions Relaxed, Curfew Now Starts At 8 PM

GOVERNMENT has revised the COVID-19 curfew as it moves to relax lockdown restrictions at the back of improved recoveries countrywide.

By Michael Gwarisa

Briefing Journalists during post cabinet media briefing, Information publicity and broadcasting services minister, Honorable Monica Mutsvangwa said government had also moved to allow families to manage cases from home.

In view of the surge in positive local cases, Cabinet approved Guidelines to help families manage COVID-19 cases at home. Furthermore, in order to curtail the spike in infections Zimbabwe requires a more robust testing regime.

“Having noted the plight of the public and the need to lessen the risk of contracting COVID-19, Cabinet directed as follows: (a) that the business hours which were ending at 15:00 hours be revisited to end at 1630 hours and the curfew to be extended to 2000 hours; (b) that Public transport drivers undergo regular COVID-19 PCR tests and (c) that public transport buses be allowed a dedicated lane at roadblocks to expedite their passage,” said minister Mutsvangwa.

She added that immigrants who are PCR negative on arrival will no longer be detained but be put on home quarantine and reviews will be conducted by the Rapid Response Teams in that locality.

“Those who test positive on arrival will be placed in isolation centres. Cabinet assures members of the public that measures are being put in place to ensure that health workers return to work, as the success of implementing the COVID-19 response is hinges on the availability of health staff.  Acquisition of Protective Personal Equipment (PPE) for health workers and front liners is being prioritized.”

Regarding Primary and Secondary Education, she added cabinet notes that the sector was continuing with its preparations for the re-opening of schools for final examination classes.

“The developed and approved guidelines that were put in place for the June 2020 examinations will be used for the holding of  the final examinations in November/December.”

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s cumulative rapid screening and PCR tests conducted as of 17 August, 2020 are 183 163 (99 651 RDT and 83 51299 (PCR). The country has now five thousand three hundred and eight (5 308) confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The cumulative number of confirmed cases has risen by 30% from the previously reported 4 075 to 5 308 positive cases. Cabinet notes with satisfaction that the number of those recovered from COVID-19 has increased by 279% from 1016 to 3 848. The number of deaths has risen by 93% from 70 to 135 and advises that no effort is being spared to ensure that the pandemic is contained.

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