Mashudu Netsianda, Senior reporter
TRAVELLERS presenting Covid-19 symptoms will be tested upon arrival in the country even if they have a Covid-19 Free Certificate from their countries of origin.
The test costs US$60 and the money will go towards replenishing laboratories. The Ministry of Health and Child Care will provide technical guidance on the implementation of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for the re-opening of the designated ports of entry.
The new requirement is part of Government’s safety measures and to curb the spread of Covid-19.
As the Government opens the economy further, metered taxi operators have been given a greenlight to resume services to allow for the movement of tourists and locals.
Government said the resumption of international flights and the imminent re-opening of Victoria Falls International Airport on Thursday was well on course with the assessment of other major airports complete.
In a post-Cabinet briefing yesterday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said as a measure to guarantee the safety of travellers, Cabinet resolved that in line with Statutory Instrument 216(5) Section 8, despite possessing Covid-19 free certificates, travellers showing Covid-19 symptoms should be tested at a nominal fee of US$60.
She said the Ministry of Health and Child Care held a special consultative meeting with key stakeholders in the tourism industry to provide technical guidance on the implementation of SOP for the re-opening of the ports of entry. “As a measure to guarantee the safety of travellers, Cabinet further resolved that in line with Statutory Instrument 216(5) Section 8, which requires travellers showing Covid-19 symptoms, whether or not they have a covid-19-free certificate to be tested, a nominal fee of US$60 be levied on travellers tested at ports of entry, and that the proceeds be used to replenish laboratory commodities,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
“Metered taxi operations have been allowed to resume services to allow for the movement of tourists and citizens who are unable to use public transport.”
Cabinet also reassured the public that the resumption of international flights and the imminent re-opening of Victoria Falls International Airport was well on course and that the assessments of other major airports are now complete.
“The Ministry of Health and Child Care has held a special consultative meeting with all key stakeholders in the tourism industry to provide technical guidance on the implementation of Standard Operating Procedures for the re-opening of the designated ports of entry,” she said.
Minister Mutsvangwa said following Government’s decision to allow for the phased reopening of schools, Cabinet noted that the dissemination of Covid-19 SOP has laid the foundation for the establishment of Sentinel Surveillance Centres. The centres will assist in monitoring adherence to Covid-19 protocols and promote a safe learning environment.
“Every school has been linked to a specific health team. This strategy will ensure active rapid response at local level. Designated temporary isolation holding bays have been set up at each school for individuals requiring further health attention after screening,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
She said there is mandatory logging and thermal screening at every school entry and exit point in order to enhance contract tracing and surveillance. “Schools that are unable to provide water are being advised that they cannot re-open before the situation is rectified,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
Cabinet noted that while Government’s response to Covid-19 has so far prevented a catastrophic spread of the outbreak, citizens were encouraged to guard against complacency and continue to abide by the protocols and measures.
“With regard to law and order, Cabinet advises that in response to its earlier decision to further ease lockdown restrictions, security personnel will he directing greater attention towards the enforcement of critical Covid-19 containment measures such as physical distancing and the proper donning of face masks,” said Minister Mutsvangwa. — @mashnets