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MASKS STAY, SAYS GOVT newsdzeZimbabweNewsdzeZimbabwe

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GOVERNMENT says it is in “no hurry” to relax mandatory
wearing of face masks despite a decline in new COVID-19 infections in the
country.

On Tuesday, Information and Publicity minister Monica
Mutsvangwa told a post-Cabinet media briefing that the average new infections
stood at 16 per day in the past week, with no COVID-19 cases recorded in
schools.

“The overall number of new COVID-19 cases continued to
decrease, with 112 cases having been recorded, compared to the 133 recorded the
previous week, marking a 16% decline,” Mutsvangwa said.

“Cabinet reports that a total of 17 new admissions were
recorded during the week compared to 13 the previous week. No patients were
admitted in the intensive care unit. This indicates that the COVID-19 pandemic
remains under control.”

Government introduced mandatory wearing of face masks in
May 2020 at the height of the first wave of the pandemic.

Regional countries like Botswana and South Africa have
since lifted the mandatory wearing of face masks.

National COVID-19 taskforce chief co-ordinator Agnes
Mahomva said government was closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation.

“Yes, the numbers are going down and we are so proud as a
country that we are doing exceptionally well than other counties in the region
and even globally,” she told NewsDay.

“Despite various challenges, we remained focused. This is
one of the main reasons why we will not to be so quick to relax some of the
measures to protect people. We are just coming out of winter, but we are
keeping our eye on it to see that we are completely out of it before we review
and decide what we need to do with face masks. We are giving it a few weeks.”

She said with schools closing this week, there was no hurry
to remove the face mask mandate as the country was still in the winter season
where respiratory infections are common.

“Law enforcement agents are still enforcing proper wearing
of masks, as long as we are recording cases of COVID-19, masks are necessary.
It is not about what other countries are doing — South Africa, United Kingdom
or America — it is about what we are seeing on the ground,” she said. Newsday




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