It’s business as usual, cabinet deliberates

By ZBC Reporter
CABINET has deliberated that it is business as usual in the country as measures are being put in place to ensure people go on about their business considering that sources their livelihoods are not affected though the gathering of more than 100 people has been banned amid fears of the Covid-19.
The suspension of public gatherings is with effect from this Friday, 20 March 2020.
Zimbabwe has not yet reported a case of Coronavirus which has so far spread to 135 countries, 19 of them being African countries.
Responding to questions from members of the media at the post-cabinet briefing this Tuesday, Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, July Moyo, said the government is putting in place measures to make sure citizens are protected.
Minister Moyo said public and private institutions will continue operating under prescribed standard procedures by the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
“Government is aware of a number of gatherings that normally take place especially during Easter and the President has mentioned this that we are appealing to churches to make sure they take heed of the call by the government because the spread is real and we need to make sure we reach out to these churches and we have to do a lot of work to make sure they comply,” said Minister Moyo.
“If you are referring to hardships that will take place in areas like Mbare Musika, we have looked at it and we want to have programs that will touch the lives of people in Mbare Musika because we realised it is their livelihoods without completely banning their work, we have to do education work to make sure they take hygienic measures as they go about doing their business, the government has not banned people from carrying out duties that make them earn a living.
Minister Moyo said parliament will not be closing while the positions taken by Cabinet on public transport monitoring would be operationalised by a committee from the Ministry of Health.
“Parliament is not closing, it has a session that will end at the beginning of April and they will go for recess so they can celebrate independence when parliament is closed so will we follow that calendar but in the meantime, we are taking it as a point of gathering and all measures are being taken to ensure the parliamentarians adhere to hygienic standards and they lead by example after all they are the leaders in the different constituencies.
“Zupco has already intimated to me what measures they are going to take and we will be working with them to make sure that they implement them,” said Minister Moyo.
The Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, senator Monica Mutsvangwa said treasury is supporting measures to strengthen surveillance and case management.
“There are recommendations to be followed to make sure that Zimbabwe is protected from being affected by the virus and there is a lot that treasury is doing to make sure all these measures are done.” Minister Mutsvangwa said the cabinet had received and adopted a report by the Minister of Health and Child Care on the national preparedness and response progress regarding Covid-19.
As of March 13, 2020, Minister Mutsvangwa said more than 9 505 travellers had been screened at the country’s ports of entry and 378 put on surveillance.
“The National Microbiology Reference Laboratory had tested 14 suspected cases for Covid-19 and all were negative,” she said.
“Cabinet was informed that to date there is no confirmed case of Covid-19 in Zimbabwe.
“The minister advised that while more cases and deaths are being reported in Europe, 26 countries in Africa have confirmed cases of Covid-19.
“Of these countries, four were from the SADC region, namely, South Africa, Eswatini, Namibia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Minister Mutsvangwa said the Government urges the citizenry to only rely on official reports from the Ministry of Health and Child Care on Covid-19 reports.