By Liz Dlodlo
Government announced Tuesday that it intends to phase the re-opening of Beitbridge, Plumtree, Victoria Falls, Chirundu, Nyamapanda, and Forbes border posts from 1 December.
Zimbabwe which is used by many Sadc countries as a transit nation, closed its airports and land ports of entry at the end of March at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Since then long distance haulage trucks, Zimbabweans returning from other countries, and bodies for burials around the country were being allowed through the land and airports.
The decision to reopen the ports was arrived at following recommendations by various teams which have been monitoring the operations around the borders in the last four weeks.
In a post-cabinet briefing, Information Minister Monica Mustvangwa said the borders will open first to private passenger vehicles and pedestrian traffic, while further assessment is being undertaken with regard to preparations for handling public passenger transport
“Cabinet resolved that the opening of border posts be phased, beginning with Beitbridge, Plumtree, Victoria Falls, Chirundu, Nyamapanda, and Forbes.
The borders will open first to private passenger vehicles and pedestrian traffic as from 1st December 2020, while further assessment is being undertaken with regard to preparations for handling public passenger transport,” said Mutsvangwa.
Under the new order, border operating hours will be fixed between 0600 and 1800 hours. The times will be reviewed in due course.
The government also said, curfew hours were extended beyond the current 2000 hours to 2200 hours for the convenience of those who are cleared late at ports of entry.
“This will be subject to gazetting,” she said.
Mustvangwa added that the Government is still receiving assistance from co-operating partners to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.
“On this very positive note, the Government of Japan is supporting Zimbabwe in equipping four Central and eight Provincial hospitals with state-of-the-art medical equipment.
This includes; bedside intensive Care Unit monitors, an ultrasound scope, operation and examination equipment, a portable X-ray system, and bedside, Coronary Care Unit monitors, emergency ventilators, electrocardiographs, an anesthesia workstation, and artificial resuscitators,” said Mutsvangwa.
The equipment will soon be distributed to Parirenyatwa, Sally Mugabe, Mpilo, and United Bulawayo Central Hospitals, and to Bindura, Chinhoyi, Gwanda, Gweru, Kadoma, Marondera, Masvingo and Mutare Provincial Hospitals.