Cabinet has this Tuesday approved the adoption of the new guidelines set by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which regulates the discharge of COVID-19 patients from isolation centres.
Announcing the development in a post-cabinet press briefing the Minister for Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa said, “implementation of the new guidelines will lead to a reduction in the number of days that people will spend in the quarantine and isolation facilities and the number of re-tests to be conducted.”
This is expected to ease the situation in the quarantine and isolation centres.
According to the new Guidelines, people with symptoms will now spend a minimum of 13 days in isolation and a minimum of 10 days for asymptomatic patients instead of the 21 days following two (2) consecutive negative PCR results that are 24 hours apart.
Patients who continue to test positive are presently not being discharged.
The new WHO criteria for discharging patients from isolation prescribes that symptomatic patients be discharged after a minimum of 13 days.
The days include a minimum of 10 days after symptom onset (fever and respiratory symptoms) and an additional 3 days without symptoms.
Asymptomatic cases can be discharged 10 days after they would have had a positive test for COVID-19.
Minister Mutsvangwa also announced that examination classes (Grade 7, Form 4, and Form 6) will resume lessons on the 28th of July, 2020 for both public and private schools.
Private Schools have been told to formally engage the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education if they need further clarification on issues that are peculiar to their operations.
Under the cash transfers to the informal sector members affected by COVID-19, Senator Mutsvangwa said a total of 202 077 people had been paid cushioning allowances.
The government is targeting one million beneficiaries and provinces have been asked to provide more names.
Meanwhile, Cabinet also approved a plan presented by The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, as Chairman of the Cabinet Committee on National Development Planning on the Tourism Recovery and Growth Strategy, which seeks to revive and grow the Tourism Sector into a US$5 billion industry by 2023.
“As part of the pillars of the recovery strategies, it should be recalled that Government has already put in place a Tourism Sector Support Scheme under the Stimulus Package, whose key aspects are as follows: a Government Guarantee Facility of ZW$500 000 000.00; a ZW$20 000 000.00 Tourism Revolving Fund; a waiver of Value Added Tax (VAT) on domestic tourism; deferment of liquidation of foreign currency paid by international clients; support for Zimbabwe Tourism Authority; and payment of money owed to Tourism Operators by various Government Institutions.”
“The financial support will enable the sector to expand, refurbish, and modernise their facilities in line with international standards.”
The strategies will involve Domestic Tourism Promotion; Regional Tourism Promotion; Destination Branding and Image Transformation; Digital Marketing Campaign; Diaspora Tourism Promotion and International Tourism Promotion. The other strategies also include Promotion of Meeting Incentives Conferences and Events (MICE) Tourism; Wide-Scale Roll-out of the Service Excellence Programme; Tourism Health, Safety and Hygiene Protocols; and the development of a Tourism Communication Plan.