27TH POST-CABINET PRESS BRIEFING
11th AUGUST 2021
1.0UPDATE BY THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE AD-HOC INTER-MINISTERIAL TASK FORCE ON THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK
Cabinet received an update on the country’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, which was presented by the Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs as Chairperson of the Ad-hoc Inter-Ministerial Task Force on COVID-19.
Cabinet is informing the nation that as of 10th August 2021, there were one hundred and seventeen thousand, two hundred and fifty eight (117 258) cumulative positive cases, compared to the one hundred and nine thousand, five hundred and forty six (109 546) reported last week.
The cumulative number of deaths reached 3 950, compared to the three thousand and five hundred and eighty three (3 583) reported last week.
Cabinet noted that the number of infections decreased slightly during the week under review, with 6 781 cases recorded, compared to the 11 652 reported the previous week. This reflected a 42% decrease, and indicated that the infection prevention and control measures are yielding results. However, more efforts are 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.
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.
In order to ensure provision of water, 12 new boreholes were drilled and 126 others were rehabilitated. Seven handwashing facilities were established at public places, while 95 hygiene promotion sessions were conducted.
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.
2.0 PROGRESS REPORT ON THE PROCUREMENT AND ROLL-OUT OF COVID-19 VACCINES
Cabinet received an update on the procurement and roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines, which was presented by the Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care, Honourable C.G.D.N. Chiwenga.
Cabinet is informing the nation that as of 10th August 2021, a total of one million nine hundred and twelve thousand five hundred and ninety two (1 912 592) persons had received the first dose of the COVID-19 Vaccine, while one million and sixty-one thousand two hundred and thirty eight (1 061 238) had received the second dose. This translates to a national coverage of 22.3% and 12.3% for the first and second doses, respectively.
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.
Cabinet wishes to inform the public that churches can now allow sit-in congregants under the following conditions:
•Only congregants who have received two doses of the vaccine are allowed to attend;
•All Ministry of Health and Child Care and WHO protocols are adhered to, and
•All those found in breach will be arrested, including the leaders of the churches.
Cabinet further wishes to inform the nation that private companies, hotels and other institutions can access vaccines upon payment of the requisite fees to the Ministry of Health and Child Care. This is on the proviso 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.