BY SILENCE MUGADZAWETA
GOVERNMENT yesterday said it would strengthen surveillance at the country’s border posts during the upcoming Easter holidays to minimise transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
This was said by Information and Publicity minister Monica Mutsvangwa during a post-Cabinet media briefing in Harare, where she stated that border posts were fertile ground for transmission of the respiratory disease.
Zimbabwe’s COVID-19 cases stood at 36 684 infections and 1 512 deaths as of yesterday morning.
“As the nation approaches the Easter holidays, Cabinet notes that there is a likelihood of increased internal and cross-border movement of people, which may provide fertile ground for increased transmission,” Mutsvangwa said.
“In that regard, the Ministry of Health and Child Care is strengthening surveillance, case management, and risk communication and community engagement in anticipation of the Easter holidays. Special attention will be accorded to ports of entry and exit.”
She said government had also given the greenlight to driving schools, the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe and the Vehicle Inspectorate Department to resume operations strictly adhering to approved standard operating procedures and World Health Organisation guidelines for the prevention of transmission of COVID-19.
Mutsvangwa said government was considering the reopening of casinos after a long period of closure.
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On legislation, the Information minister said government had approved the Copper Control Amendment Bill, which seeks to impose 30-year jail sentences on copper cable thieves without the option of a fine.
She said the Bill sought to curb vandalism and theft of Zesa and TelOne infrastructure.
“Convicted copper thieves will now be liable to imprisonment for a period of not less than 30 years without the option of a fine. In addition, any vehicle or device used to illegally transport copper will now be forfeited to the State,” Mutsvangwa said.