The government yesterday confirmed a total of nine COVID-19 recoveries with the latest four all from Harare.
In a daily update, the Ministry of Health and Child Care said the recoveries were confirmed through two consecutive PCR negative tests from samples taken at least 24 hours apart in line with the WHO guidelines.
Despite the gains recorded by Zimbabwe which has seen the country go for more than a week without recording a new case, medical experts have urged the government to lift the lockdown in phases.
In a article published in the Pan African Medical Journal, University of Zimbabwe said lockdown should be lifted in phases, while monitoring the behaviour and responses of the population.
The specialists also proposed the implementation of new mandatory infection control policies specifically addressing COVID-19 for every company intending to reopen after lockdown.
“Employers will have to provide disinfection materials, masks and temperature screening at single entry points,” reads part of the article.
Other proposed conditions for the uplifting of the lockdown include the restriction of unnecessary travel by mounting roadblocks on major highways and the introduction of inter-city travel passes.
On education, the medical experts proposed that infection control measures be put in place before schools are reopened including the screening of all teaching staff.
“We suggest that the government delay lifting the ban on church gatherings and sporting events, while funerals may continue under the current lockdown framework of not having more than 50 people at the funeral,” they said.
The specialists also added to the growing calls for the government to address the growing calls to address the plight of Zimbabweans risking dying due to malnutrition rather than of COVID-19 citing that the lockdown had deprived many urban dwellers of their sources of livelihoods, which are mostly in the informal sector at a time when prices of basic commodities have skyrocketed.
“The government has to come up with stimulation packages and incentives for suppliers so that they can continue supplying goods and services without hiking prices,” expressed the specialists.
“Currently the government is implementing a programme cushioning 450 000 people through a $90 million facility. It is a good facility, but if divided equally, it means that each person gets $200, which is worth six loaves of bread at current pricing.”
To date, the country has recorded 34 confirmed COVID-19 cases, four deaths and nine recoveries.