As the current outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) continues to develop, the Tourism Business Council of Zimbabwe (TBCZ), the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) and the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry (MECTHI) are committed to working together in guiding the travel and tourism sector’s response to COVID-19.
Today the tourism sector players led by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Munesu Munodawafa met with the Minister of Health and Child Care, Honourable Obediah Moyo, his Permanent Secretary Dr Agnes Mahomva and senior Ministry Officials. Also in attendance was the World Health Organisation Representative Dr Alex Gasasira.
The meeting was to seek clarity on action being taken to prevent the spread of the disease and increase awareness on the epidemic, which has so far spread to over 76 countries mainly through travel.
Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Obadiah Moyo said “Government is working closely with global experts, other governments and partners to rapidly expand scientific knowledge on this new virus, to track the spread and virulence of the virus, and to provide advice on measures to protect health and prevent the spread of its outbreak in the country”, he said.
The meeting emphasised on uncompromised improvement on, Prevention, Surveillance, Monitoring, Access to care, Education and Awareness.
In addition to these, it was agreed that the tourism industry would set up a COVID-19 response committee as a matter of urgency. Further, operators were encouraged to set up COVID-19 response committees at business level and to create awareness as well take preventive measures of the ssme.
The ZTA Acting Chief Executive, Givemore Chidzidzi, said the tourism sector is fully committed to putting people and their well-being first. “Cooperation is vital for ensuring the sector can effectively contribute to the containment of COVID-19. TBCZ and ZTA are working in close consultation and with other state partners to assist in ensuring that health measures are implemented in ways recommended by the Ministry of Health and Child Care”, he said.
The TBCZ President, Ms Winnie Muchanyuka, said “The ZTA, TBCZ and the entire tourism industry stand ready to work closely with all those communities and countries affected by the current health emergency, to build a better and more resilient sector”, she said.
Muchanyuka added, saying “At this challenging time, the tourism sector in Zimbabwe join the UNWTO and the international community in standing in solidarity with affected countries”.