Thu, 06 Oct 2022

HARARE, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- The Zimbabwean government announced Tuesday that people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer need to wear face masks in public places.

Addressing a media briefing, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the decision had been taken due to declining COVID-19 cases in the country.

Zimbabwe has witnessed a gradual decline in COVID-19 cases and deaths since the beginning of the year, resulting in the government relaxing most COVID-19 preventive measures.

Daily cases declined by 46 percent over the past week while no deaths were recorded over the past two days, Mutsvangwa said.

"Cabinet resolved that those who have received three doses of the WHO recommended vaccines are exempted from the mandatory wearing of face masks in outdoor public places but should however wear masks in indoor public places and in public transport," Mutsvangwa said.

She said for evidence, those fully vaccinated should carry their vaccination cards all the time, while urging all provinces in the country to continue intensifying COVID-19 vaccination activities for the nation to achieve herd immunity.

As of Monday, Zimbabwe had recorded 256,561 COVID-19 cases, with 5,588 deaths and 250,733 recoveries from the disease since its outbreak in March 2020.

The official also said a measles outbreak first reported in the country last week had killed 157 children and 2,056 cases had been reported to date.

She said most of the affected children had not been vaccinated against the disease.

Manicaland Province in the eastern part of the country is the worst affected with 1,270 cases and 122 deaths.

Mutsvangwa said the Ministry of Health and Child Care has started an intensive vaccination program against the disease.

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