Tuesday, 16 March 2021

MINISTER : TEACHERS NEXT TO BE VACCINATED

TEACHERS, hospitality industry workers, tobacco merchants and their workers should get vaccinated with immediate effect, while restaurants are now allowed to have sit-in clients at 50 percent capacity.

Zimbabwe received a second donation of 200 000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine from the People’s Republic of China yesterday morning.

The country also received a delivery of 200 000 doses of Sinovac vaccines it purchased from China.

As of 15 March, 2021, Zimbabwe’s cumulative Covid-19 cases stood at 36 504 including 34 051 recoveries and 1 504 deaths.

The recovery rate is 93 percent, with 34 722 cases attributed to local transmission. There are 931 active cases at the moment and about 125 of those are admitted.

In a post Cabinet briefing yesterday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the balance of one million from the 1.2 million vaccines procured will be delivered by the end of March 2021 or in early April 2021.

“In order to utilise the existing capacity as agreed at the last Meeting, Cabinet resolved that Stage Two of Phase One of the vaccination roll-out will include tobacco merchants and their workers, teachers and hospitality industry workers, and this should commence immediately. Cabinet also agreed that all sporting activities will now resume and observe Standard Operating Procedures,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

“Restaurants are now allowed to open for sit-ins at 50 percent sitting capacity, under strict adherence to Covid-19 guidelines. Those found breaking the restrictions will be closed immediately.”

A total of 36 786 people has so far been vaccinated within the first 20 days of the programmes with all provinces receiving coverage.

The first vaccination phase targeted frontliners who include nurses, doctors, all health care workers, journalists and those in the security sector.

Zimbabwe became one of the first countries to roll out vaccines, a development that saw the Government getting a pat on the back from the World Health Organisation (WHO) for its handling of the pandemic

“Efforts are underway to increase vaccination awareness in order to reach the minimum of 60 percent of the population vaccinated to achieve herd immunity. To gather momentum, the number of vaccinators will be increased by involving the health workers in the uniformed forces, Local Authorities and retired health workers,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

She urged frontliners who have been vaccinated to continue to practice the recommended World Health Organisation (WHO) preventive measures such as physical distancing, wearing of masks, and washing of hands and sanitisation.

“Two documents that include the deployment vaccination plan and information on frequently asked questions have been translated into all official languages. The deployment vaccination plan is being disseminated as part of the awareness campaign and advocacy,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

“It will help educate people that they will be vaccinated for free. Information on frequently asked questions which has also been translated into all official languages includes information on different types of vaccines; how vaccines work; benefit of being vaccinated; who can be vaccinated and who cannot be vaccinated and the safety of vaccine.”

The document will also contain information on what to do when there is suspected adverse reaction and the various vaccines myths against vaccine facts.

She also said the Cabinet was pleased to note that preparations for the opening of schools have reached an advanced stage with examination classes having opened as scheduled on March 15, 2021.

“Non-examination classes will open on 22 March 2021 as scheduled. Standard operating Procedures are being emphasised, particularly regarding the availability of potable water at every school.”

Earlier this month, Government announced a new school calendar for the year. The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, said term one ends on June 4 with the second term commencing on June 28, ending on September 10.

The third term will start on October 4 and end on December 17. Schools were supposed to open on January 4 but Government was forced to defer the opening due to a spike in Covid-19 cases.  Herald

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