An interactive app that seeks to counter the increase in fake Covid-19 news has been developed to disseminate the considered information from public health professionals and give a platform for official information and reduce the need to phone busy health institutions to get correct news and advice.
Speaking after Tuesday's Cabinet meeting, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the app, ZimCovid Safe, was now available on Google Play Store and Apple AppStore.
"With regard to risk communication and information, Cabinet notes with concern the rise in the dissemination of Covid-19-related fake news, mainly through social media platforms," she said.
"The public is urged to remain cognisant that the only source of information on the Covid-19 situation is the Ministry of Health and Child Care and not to act on the basis of information from unverified sources.
"Government takes this opportunity to inform the nation that the Ministry of Health and Child Care has developed the ZimCovid Safe Interactive App with the aim of reducing traffic of calls to health institutions, to educate the public about Covid-19 and to disseminate official news from the Ministry."
Minister Mutsvangwa said the ZimCovid Safe application provided various tools that include a Covid-19 screening tool, information on vaccination and testing centres, news updates and educational content, Covid-19 statistics and SMS-based solutions.
Minister Mutsvangwa also raised concern over the increase in non-adherence to Covid-19 regulations.
"In a related matter, it has been observed that some provinces such as Matabeleland South are not adhering to Covid-19 regulations at funerals, resulting in unnecessary discord between environmental health workers and the local leadership regarding issues of opening of coffins and body viewing.
"The procedures to be followed in the repatriation of bodies from outside the country and at funerals can be obtained from the Ministry of Health and Child Care," she said.
She urged Zimbabweans to avoid complacency and continue adhering to regulations.