Tuesday, 5 October 2021

BARS OPEN TO VACCINATED PATRONS : GOVT

SCHOOLS have remained COVID-19 hotspots despite a downward trend in new infections recorded throughout the country in the past week, government has said.

Government yesterday extended the level two lockdown by a further two weeks, but opened licensed bars for vaccinated patrons only.

New cases reported in schools fell to 815 last week compared to 1 267 in the previous week after the Health and Child Care ministry recently cordoned off boarding schools.

In a post-Cabinet media briefing yesterday, Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa said government would continue to strengthen all public health institutions ahead of a possible fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The number of new infections decreased during the week under review, despite the slight increase in new cases in learning institutions,” she said.

The daily average of new cases dropped to 238 per day from 246, the previous week.

Regarding case management, infection, prevention and control, the number of people in need of hospitalisation for COVID-19 continues to fall, with the country’s bed occupancy rate decreasing from 4,62% the previous week to 4,3% during the week under review.

Last week, 94 new admissions were recorded, with six patients placed under intensive care.

On bars, Mutsvangwa said owners who violated the COVID-19 health protocols risked losing licences.

“Cabinet notes, with concern, that the continued closure of licensed bars and nightclubs has caused not only a loss of income and unemployment, but also resulted in the mushrooming of illegal outlets,” she said.

“Cabinet, therefore, directed that all licensed bars be opened to fully vaccinated clients. Bar owners are also required to ensure that the World Health Organisation and national protocols and guidelines are enforced, failure of which their licences will be withdrawn. The bars are also required to adhere to curfew hours.” Newsday

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