Govt downsizes workforce during lockdown: Minister 

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THE government has moved to protect civil servants from Covid-19 by reducing, to 30 percent, the number of public employees physically at work as well as suspending face-to-face meetings during this lockdown period.

This comes as the country has gone into a second hard Covid-19 which commenced yesterday, as President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his government fight to curb the spread of the lethal virus, which has killed close to 40 people in the past week alone.

In a statement yesterday, acting Information minister, Jenfan Muswere, called on citizens to act responsibly by adhering to the laid down Covid-19 safety regulations at all times.

“Moving on to government employees, the Public Service Commission (PSC) has put in place measures to ensure safety of its workforce including streamlining the size of essential services workforce expected to be physically at work to 30 percent across ministries.

“Face to face meetings have been suspended while strict Covid-19 protocols on PSC buses will be enforced,” Muswere said.

The minister also advised members of public entities in essential services such as mining, communication and telecommunication, agriculture production and security companies that they can obtain movement and exemption letters from their respective ministries.

“We can stop Covid-19, let us all play our part. Social and physical distancing, staying at home, masking up and personal hygiene including sanitising and frequently washing our hands with soap and running water will do the trick,” he said.

Muswere, who is also the Information and Communication Technology minister, said while the government and members of the public had been given false hope by the flattening of the Covid-19 curve in the country from September last year, the upsurge of the virus since last month was a cause for concern and therefore calls for vigilance by all.

“Whilst the flattening of the curve of the Covid19 infections in the last few months gave us hope, the reality on the ground nationally and globally is that there is a spike in Covid-19 cases, and we ought to be vigilant as a nation, hence the need to adhere to the measures announced for the lockdown.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the country has reverted back to level 4 lockdown as stipulated within SI 10 of 2021.

“Essential services and emergencies will continue to operate within the confines of the regulations including closing at 15.00hrs. Other commercial operations and services specified in Part 5 of the lockdown order, that is to say all formal businesses and registered informal traders, are suspended…” he said.

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