Government Responds To Calls For Removal Of Face Masks Requirement

The government of Zimbabwe has said it will retain a requirement for wearing face masks to curb the transmission of the coronavirus despite a reduction in the number of new cases of COVID-19 cases in recent months.

National COVID-19 task force chief coordinator Agnes Mahomva said the government was closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation. She told NewsDay Zimbabwe:

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.

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.

Law enforcement agents are still enforcing the 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.

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

The government introduced the 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. 

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