The Cabinet received an update on the steps that are being taken to contain the Covid-19 pandemic from the Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs, Honourable OCZ Muchinguri-Kashiri, chairperson of the Ad Hoc Inter-Ministerial Task Force on the Covid-19 outbreak.
The country now has 6 388 confirmed Covid-19 cases compared to 5 643 reported last week. Of these confirmed cases, 5 078 are attributed to local transmission. Harare has the highest number of cases with 2 532, followed by Bulawayo with 1 271.
The Cabinet regrets to inform the nation that deaths due to Covid-19 are now 202. Recoveries, on the other hand, increased to 5 043 from the previously recorded 4 525, while active cases increased to 1 150.
The Cabinet acknowledged that despite the surge in positive local cases, the majority of the cases of local transmission are mild to moderate, with a recovery rate of about 80 percent.
Most of these cases are managed at home and in isolation facilities. The national testing strategy, however, will continue to prioritise the testing of all health care workers and other frontline personnel, inclusive of public transport drivers.
The Government is finalising on modalities for the re-opening of airports to support the resumption of the tourism sector. The plan is to start with the resumption of domestic flights and then move to international flights. Cabinet approved the resumption of the rest of tourism operations, including boat operations.
Regarding Primary and Secondary Education, the Cabinet notes that based on on-going consultations with relevant stakeholders in that sector, the ministry is continuing with its preparations for the re-opening of schools for the end of year 2020 final examination classes.
Fifteen stakeholders have submitted their inputs and another nine are expected to make their submissions shortly. Among those that were invited for inputs on the reopening of schools are the following: the Zimbabwe Visually Impaired Teachers’ Union (ZVITU) and nine other teachers’ unions; the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Education; the Association of School Development Committees; the Independent Colleges in Zimbabwe; the Private Schools Association of Zimbabwe; and the Association of Trust Schools.
The schools opening dates are scheduled for 14 September 2020 for Cambridge examinations classes and 28 September 2020 for zimsec examination classes. The Cabinet approved that the zimsec examinations should start on 1 December, 2020.
The ministry is working closely with other ministries and stakeholders to guarantee the safety of pupils and staff during the examinations period. Standard operating procedures have been distributed to all schools.
PRINCIPLES OF THE ZIMBABWE YOUTH BILL
The Cabinet approved the principles of the Zimbabwe Youth Bill as presented by the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation. She indicated that the current legislation on the youth provides only for the Zimbabwe Youth Council and is silent on all the other aspects of the youth.
The objective of the proposed Bill is thus to have an all encompassing legislation that addresses all sectors/areas of the youth, align it to the Constitution, as well as the domestication of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child; and the SADC Declaration on Youth Development and Empowerment.
The Bill will provide for, among others, the following: the empowerment of the youth and their indispensable contributions to sustainable progress and change; the mechanisms for active and meaningful participation of youth in nation building by mainstreaming them in social, economic and political spaces; and the establishment of youth focal desks in all Government ministries and departments at all levels.
2020/2021 SEASON RAINFALL FORECAST FOR ZIMBABWE
The Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Environment Industry briefed the Cabinet on the 2020/2021 Season Rainfall Forecast for Zimbabwe. The forecast which is a product of the annual National Climate Outlook Forum (NACOF) convened by the Meteorological Services Department of Zimbabwe (MSD), is used by multi-sectoral stakeholders as a planning tool since weather and climate information is invaluable to all sectors of the economy.
The Cabinet adopted the minister’s report which pointed to an improved rainfall pattern for the season. The forecast is for total cumulative seasonal rainfall amounts, and seasonal rainfall predictions will be updated on monthly basis beginning end of October.
Further details relating to the region specific outlook will be given by the relevant department.