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Govt says face masks are no longer mandatory for the vaccinated

Cabinet has resolved that people who have received 3 doses of the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended Covid-19 vaccines are exempted from mandatory wearing of face masks in outdoor public places.

Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa announced the development during the post cabinet briefing in Harare on Tuesday. The exempted group should, however, wear masks indoors.

“Noting the decrease in Covid-19 cases Cabinet resolved as follows:

“That those who have received three doses of the WHO recommended vaccines are exempted from mandatory wearing of face masks in outdoor public places but should however wear masks indoors,” Mutsvangwa said.

Government also gave an update to the public on the outbreak of measles which has so far claimed the lives of 80 children.

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“Cabinet received a brief on the measles outbreak across all Provinces and resolved that the National supplementary vaccination program be upscale before the schools open targeting the 6 to 15 year age group.

“That resources will be drawn from the National disaster fund in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, towards fighting the outbreak,” Mutsvangwa said.

Measles is an acute viral respiratory illness. Its symptoms, according to health experts, appear 7 to 14 days after contact with the virus and typically include high fever, cough, runny nose, and watery eyes.

Ministry of Health permanent secretary Jasper Chimedza said the outbreak was reported on April 10 in Mutasa district, Manicaland province, and had spread nationwide. He said Manicaland had the highest number of 356 cases and 45 deaths.

He said the most cases reported were among children aged six months to 15 years and from church gatherings.