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Lifting Covid-19 Restrictions A Double-Edged Sword 


ZIMBABWE’s easing of lockdown restrictions demands a step up of Covid-19 prevention campaigns if the country is to keep the lid on the transmission of the global epidemic, a leading development agency has said.

International Institute for Development Facilitation (IIDF) said while strict lockdown measures forced a 157-day school vacation and stumped an already comatose economy it saved the country from the worst of the epidemic.

IIDF senior official Moillah Jazi told Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba in Mutare Wednesday that her organisation will therefore be stepping up of prevention campaigns in Chipinge, Chimanimani, Mutare and Mutasa.

“As government allows life to return to normal with education resuming, industry opening up further and even international travel increasingly being permitted we need to manage the risk of a spike in infections by stepping up prevention efforts,” Jazi said.

Her organisation also made a donation of personal protective equipment (PPE) as well as information, education and communication materials to the provincial Covid-19 response committee to support government efforts.

IIDF donated 200 buckets with taps, 600 green bar soaps, 2000 face masks, 100 boxes of latex gloves, sodium peroxide, soap dispensers, terminal hand sanitisers, 200 t-shirts, 200 caps and 100 sunhats.

The materials and interventions are being made with support from International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and Sweden International Development Agency.

The organisation is set to train village health workers, health centre committees, case care workers and community leaders in the four districts that lie along the porous Mozambican border.

“We are also going to conduct awareness through outdoor mobile awareness using a broadcasting van and sponsoring radio programs on the contagion,” Jazi said.

Minister Gwaradzimba said the PPEs would go a long way in combating the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic which had infected 466 in Manicaland as of Tuesday.

She said the contributions by developmental partners in line with the call by the head of State was an acknowledgement that government alone could not deal with the disease and had created taskforces from national to district level to coordinate the participation of all partners.

“National, provincial and district Covid-19 Task Forces were instituted to spearhead and upscale our state of preparedness in the advent of Covid-19.

“Realising that government on its own could not accomplish this onerous mammoth task, all key stakeholders were incorporated as members of the Covid-19 Task Forces at the appropriate tiers,” Minister Gwaradzimba said.

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