INFORMATION, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa says government the level 4 lockdown measure were still in force even though new COVID-19 infections were on the decline.
Briefing Journalists during a Post Cabinet Media Briefing, minister Mutsvagwa said,”Cabinet was informed that the number of infections decreased slightly, with a total of 14 275 cases being recorded during the week under review, compared to the 21 346 cases recorded the previous week.
“This reflected a 49.5% decrease, as the country’s efforts to contain the pandemic showed a high level of effectiveness. Nevertheless, Cabinet noted the need to strengthen efforts to contain the Third Wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, therefore, the Level 4 lockdown measures remain in force. Areas which recorded the most significant numbers of new cases were Harare Metropolitan Province (2 920), Mashonaland East Province (1 968), Mashonaland West Province (1 776), Manicaland Province (1 537) and Mashonaland Central Province (1 106).”
She added that efforts were underway to replenish supplies of essential COVID-19 consumables.
“Government is ramping up the supply of oxygen and other critical provisions at designated health institutions throughout the country. The Ministry of Health and Child Care has established a prepayment facility with a local gas supplier to ensure constant availability of oxygen. Treasury has released ZW$100 million for the purchase of oxygen.”
Speaking on the COVID-19 vaccination situation, Minister Mutsvangwa said as of 26th July 2021, a total of one million four hundred and ninety one thousand four hundred and ninety three (1 491 493) people had received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while six hundred and eighty seven thousand two hundred and sixteen (687 216) people had received their second dose.
“Vaccination in border town hotspots and people’s markets is ongoing, with the highest coverages of the first dose being recorded in Victoria Falls City, Kariba and Chiredzi. Cabinet wishes to inform the nation that one million doses of the Sinovac vaccine were received on 25th July 2021. Another consignment of 1.5 million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine are expected in the country on 30 July, 2021.
“Cabinet noted with concern the failure by Chitungwiza Municipality and Harare City Council to pay nurses and other health personnel, resulting in a reduction in service delivery. The two Municipalities have also been unable to account for financial resources availed by Treasury towards the COVID-19 response.”
She added that cabinet directed nursing staff in the two municipalities be placed under the Public Service Commission and be paid through the Salary Service Bureau.
“Risk allowances for the affected workers will also be paid. Cabinet also tasked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to ensure that the municipalities account fully for the resources that they were allocated as part of the country’s COVID-19 response. Cabinet wishes to urge citizens to be vaccinated against COVID-19, in view of compelling evidence that vaccination reduces the need for hospitalization and also reduces infection rates and deaths.”