THE number of confirmed Covid-19 infected people in the country has risen to 51 after three new cases were reported yesterday.
According to an update issued by the Ministry of Health and Child Care, two of the cases were of returnees from Botswana and the other was of a Harare resident with no history of travel.
“As of May 21, 2020, Zimbabwe had 51 confirmed cases, including 18 recoveries and four deaths. Three cases tested positive for Covid-19 today (Thursday).”
“Two cases are returnees from Botswana who both tested positive on the eighth day of quarantine and one is a Harare resident with no history of travel,” said the ministry.
As of yesterday, 1 379 Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) and 466 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) diagnostic tests were conducted.
This brought the cumulative number of tests done to date to 34 707 of which 19 623 were RDTs with 15 084 being PCRs.
Harare Province has the highest number of recorded cases at 23, followed by Bulawayo Province with 12 cases. Mashonaland East has six cases, Mashonaland West (5), Midlands (3), Matabeleland North (1) and Masvingo (1).
The recent cases have largely been imported, especially from the United Kingdom and South Africa, through the returnees.
The country is on Level 2 lockdown for an indefinite period and authorities have been credited for putting in place effective measures to contain the deadly pandemic which has infected over five million people, killing 328 000 worldwide this year alone.
President Mnangagwa said the country would have regular two-week reviews of the situation.
Meanwhile, the number of vulnerable citizens supported by Government through cash transfers this month alone stands at 101 000.
Another 100 000 people are set to get their cash transfers today, which will take the number of beneficiaries to 240 000, with Government urging other vulnerable citizens to register with the Social Welfare Department and their local authorities.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa told journalists last night during a post-Cabinet briefing that the Chairman of the Ad-Hoc Inter-Ministerial Task-Force on Covid-19, Vice President Kembo Mohadi, presented the weekly report on the national preparedness and response to the pandemic, which was adopted
As part of deepening the fight, Government has disbanded the flexi-hours and taken cognisance of the inadequate number of nurses on the establishment of the Ministry of Health and Child Care, to allow for a 14-day off period.
The new arrangement, which will minimise the period of continuous exposure to Covid-19 but at the same time ensuring continuity of service, was arrived at following extensive consultations with the leadership of the nursing staff and managers of hospitals and provinces. Under the new arrangement, there will be three shifts as follows: 7am to 1pm; 1pm to7pm; and 7pm to 7am.
All nurses will report for duty every week for three days followed by four days off, and the successful implementation of the strategy will be anchored on the provision of additional and consistent transport as well as adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) for all workers including nurses.
Meanwhile, Cabinet has approved the amendment of sections of Statutory Instrument 110 of 2020 pertaining to low risk sporting activities, with more details on the actual sports covered set to be supplied by the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation in due course.
Minister Mutsvangwa said the lifting of the lockdown on low risk sporting activities will be limited to training purposes only, and as such not open to competition or spectators.