GOVERNMENT is working on decongesting teachers’ accommodation at schools across the country ahead of the opening of schools as part of measures to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.
More accommodation will be provided in the form of tents, according to the 27th post-cabinet press briefing.
The government has been postponing the opening of schools, owing to inadequate protective clothing, other essential materials and mechanisms to prevent the spread of the virus.
“Assessments on the state of preparedness for the safe re-opening of schools is ongoing across all provinces.
The ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has redoubled efforts towards the targeted provision of tents, additional furniture, reliable water sources, ablution facilities, and the decongestion of teacher accommodation. Testing for Covid-19 is also being escalated in communities,” the briefing read.
Although cases have been receding, President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday extended the Level Four lockdown measures by two more weeks.
Cabinet this week reported a 42% decrease in Covid-19 cases compared to the previous week, however, noting an increase in cases in the Midlands province.
“More effort is required to contain the third wave of the pandemic. The only exception is Midlands province, which is experiencing another surge. Concerted efforts will be made to address the situation in that province, as well as in other known Covid-19 hotspots,” the briefing read.
“Cabinet further wishes to inform the nation that work to increase bed capacity at several Covid-19 treatment centres throughout the country is continuing. The country’s companies and universities have enough raw materials to increase the production of personal protective equipment, as well as medicines for managing Covid-19.”
Meanwhile, churches have been given the go-ahead to open, but only to fully vaccinated congregants. The other conditions for conducting services include adhering to ministry of Health and Child Care and the World Health Organisation protocols.
“All those found in breach will be arrested, including the leaders of the churches,” the briefing read.
In addition, cabinet resolved to give vaccine access to private companies, hotels and other institutions, provided they pay a fee to the Health ministry.
“This is on the provision that they seek authority from the ministry for qualified persons to conduct the vaccination of their staff and or patrons. Special care should also be taken to ensure that standard equipment is used for vaccination.”
“Vaccination in border towns, other hotspots and peoples’ markets is progressing as scheduled. Two million syringes were procured from Sinopharm of China and received on 7 August 2021. The vaccination programme will be ramped up in provinces with low uptake such as Mashonaland Central and Mashonaland West provinces, and Chitungwiza where progress has been slow,” the cabinet briefing reads. — STAFF WRITER.