By ZBC Reporter
The National COVID 19 Taskforce is now being chaired by the Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs, Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, who will be deputised by the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development, Prof Amon Murwira.
Giving an update on deliberations made after this Monday’s Inter-Ministerial Taskforce on COVID-19 Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Senator Monica Mutsvangwa who was flanked by her permanent secretary Mr Nick Mangwana and Director Epidemiology and Disease Control in the Ministry of Health and Child Care Dr Portia Manangazira announced the changes effected in the taskforce structure which was being chaired by Vice President Kembo Mohadi.
“The National COVID 19 Taskforce is now being chaired by the Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs, Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, who will be deputized by the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development, Prof Amon Murwira.”
The World Health Organization has announced new protocols on COVID-19, which include revised criteria of how one is classified as a suspected or positive case.
“As you are aware that COVID-19 is a novel virus and each day we are learning new information about it and how to combat it. The National Taskforce today noted the changes in the World Health Organization’s protocols on COVID-19. The new protocols include the revision of the definitions of suspected and probable cases to take into account the increased knowledge on the clinical spectrum of COVID-19 signs and symptoms and updated approaches to surveillance.”
“Consequentially, our statistics have changed as we implement these new protocols. Recoveries have risen from 1 998 to 4 442 for the period between 14 August to 19 August 2020 largely due to the changes in the determination of the serostatus – the state of either having or not having detectable antibodies of COVID-19 in patients.”
“Resultantly, active cases have also dropped to 965. There are presently 1 293 persons in quarantine facilities, which marks a significant reduction from the figures reported in previous weeks. This again follows the WHO recommendation that the quarantine period is reduced from 21 to 14 days.”
While the government has capacitated ZUPCO to avail adequate transport to urban dwellers, the peak hour periods continue to be a cause for concern.
“The National Taskforce has noted with concern that despite the Government’s effort to capacitate ZUPCO to provide services to commuters in urban areas, there is a lot of unnecessary travelling which increases risk in urban areas. Citizens are therefore encouraged to only travel when absolutely necessary and those who do not have to travel during peak hours are also encouraged to avoid travelling during these high congestion times.”
The Minister noted the challenges being faced by citizens at a time when the country has been on lockdown for almost five months but urged people to continue to be vigilant in combating the spread of the virus.
“Government appreciates how difficult it is for citizens to avoid venturing out due to the demands of different social circumstances. We also appreciate that we have been in Lockdown for about five months now, but the worst is not yet over. Let us dig in into our legendary resilience and take heart in that what we are being asked to do will save us, our families and communities. Let us not violate the movement restrictions that are in place to protect us and others as well as the wearing of masks in public places.”
“Experts have informed us that those who will win this war are those who adapt to the new normal which entails adopting the protective and preventative measures that curb the spread and transmission of COVID-19. This is a new normal. Let us all accept it and adapt our lifestyles to it.”
Local transmissions continue to rise and the National Taskforce has urged citizens to remain vigilant in observing the recommended preventative measures to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.