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Govt well-prepared to test all, says Mutsvangwa

by Staff reporter
29 Dec 2020 at 07:11hrs | Views
GOVERNMENT has said it is well-prepared to test all Zimbabweans coming back into the country for the COVID-19 virus during this festive season at different ports of entry.

This was said recently in the Senate by the Leader of Government business in the Senate, Monica Mutsvangwa, who is also Information minister.

She said the COVID-19 taskforce's mandate was to look at all that was happening in the country, and to engage experts to investigate the pandemic so that where there were loopholes in terms of COVID-19, they were dealt with.

Senators had expressed concern that during the festive season, a lot of Zimbabweans in the diaspora would be returning home. Neighbouring South Africa has been severely affected by a new COVID-19 variant, known as 501.V2, which was blamed for a resurgence in infections.

"The condition that is there is that all those who come through the ports of entry, it might be Beitbridge Border Post, Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport or Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Airport in Bulawayo, Victoria Falls or different borders — a person coming into Zimbabwe is expected to produce a COVID-19 negative certificate. This certificate mandates one to have been tested 48 hours prior to departure.

"It should come from a laboratory that is known and you are required to undergo testing again and you have to wait until the results are out. At Beitbridge Border Post our relatives need to come with COVID-19 negative certificates and without those certificates, they are not allowed entry into the country. I want to remind you that the government is aware of this and wants us to curb COVID-19 cases," she said.

Mutsvangwa said the ports of entry had enough PCR machines and travellers that came through without COVID-19 certificates could be tested upon arrival.

"For example, at the airport there are laboratories so when a person comes through without a COVID-19 negative certificate they can get tested. Government is very strict when you travel. That certificate is very important and it has to come from a laboratory that is well recognised. Government is after protecting its population."

Mutsvangwa urged citizens to continue protecting themselves by wearing on masks, washing hands, maintaining social distancing, adding that when they start coughing, it is important to take Zumbani tea.

"Now, because of the rainy season, there are a number of flues and we need to protect ourselves. Zimbabwe is a good country and people have listened. We are saying the pandemic is there but we have relaxed the conditions. You find the media will start telling you not to relax because the disease is still with us although it is local transmission. We need to be cognisant of that and protect ourselves where possible."

She said since the beginning of December, those who use private vehicles from countries like Mozambique, Zambia, and Botswana were allowed to come through, but there were conditions that they have to meet before they did so.

Source - newsday

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