All civil servants must now be vaccinated against Covid-19 before being allowed to report for duty after being given time to get their jabs, while churches are now permitted to move from 100 people at a service to half their capacity if congregants are fully vaccinated.
Other social gatherings such as weddings and funerals are still limited to 100 people, since it is difficult to enforce the need for vaccination at such events, making further relaxation practically very difficult.
Speaking after the Cabinet meeting yesterday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said that following the previous announcement that all civil servants should be vaccinated, Cabinet further resolved that no unvaccinated civil servants will be allowed to come to work.
“Cabinet discussed the request by churches for a review of the number of congregants allowed in church services to at least a third, taking into account the size of the church.
“While all other gatherings shall not exceed 100 persons, with regards to churches, Cabinet has resolved that only vaccinated congregants can attend and should be limited to 50 percent of the holding capacity of the church,” she said.
Minister Mutsvangwa expressed appreciation of the open communication that exists between Government and stakeholders across the socio-economic stratum of the country. The minister also assured the nation that anyone was free to make representations to the Cabinet Inter-Ministerial Taskforce on Covid-19 on any related matters.
Government is targeting to inoculate 10 million Zimbabweans and the number is likely to increase once rollout begins for the 14 to 17-year-old age group. By last night there were 1 926 247 Zimbabweans fully vaccinated with both doses, about 12,84 percent of the estimated 15 million people and a total of 2 873 893 people had received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccines, about 19,16 percent of the total population.
Minister Mutsvangwa said the Government was, however concerned about the low uptake of the vaccine in Mashonaland Central and Chitungwiza Town, where efforts were underway to encourage citizens to be vaccinated.
She said the Government had also okayed the resumption of all sporting activities, in addition to the opening up for low risk sports previously.
“While Cabinet previously approved the resumption of low risk sporting activities, it has further resolved that all sport codes can resume.
“Sports hours have been adjusted to between 6am and 8pm to accommodate the working population,” said Minister Mutsvangwa. Working hours end at 7pm at the latest.
The country has been recording a steady decline in the number of new Covid-19 infections and related deaths with the ebbing of the third wave. In the past week, there was a 35 percent decrease in the number of infections with 719 cases having been recorded during the week, compared to the 1 113 reported the previous week.
“This reflects that the infection prevention and control measures are yielding results, and the citizenry is urged to remain vigilant and adhere to measures to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
“Cabinet further wishes to inform the nation that there was a decrease in the number of people in need of hospitalisation for Covid-19.
“The bed occupancy rate was 6,9 percent during the review week, compared to the 10 percent recorded during the previous week,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
Although measures to manage Covid-19 infections in schools are still being implemented, 79 learners and 20 teachers tested positive in the past week bringing the total number of cases in schools to 132.
The minister said all active cases were in isolation and being managed by the Ministry of Health and Child Care.