The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) has assured travellers using the Beitbridge Border Post that it would continue taking necessary pre-cautionary steps to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus through the post.
This follows reports that eight ZIMRA workers tested positive of the virus at the Beitbridge Border Post.
ZIMRA spokesperson Francis Chimanda, in a statement, said the authority, which continues to provide essential services, is taking the necessary precautionary steps, as guided by World Health Organisation with the assistance of the Ministry of Health and Childcare.
“ZIMRA is very aware that due to the unique location of our offices and stations coupled with the essential nature of the services we provide there is a need to remain vigilant in observing and practicing procedures that reduce exposure to COVID-19.
“In order to safeguard employees, clients and the public ZIMRA continues to implement guidelines from the World Health Organisation and the Ministry of Health and Childcare in reducing the impact of the COVID-19 threat to operations and human life.
“All stakeholders at Beitbridge have had tests done as well as contact tracing and our staff continues to offer essential services under COVID-19 protocols and guidelines as provided for by WHO and Ministry of Health and Childcare.”
Some of the measures being undertaken by ZIMRA at the border posts and stations in instances of expected or suspected exposure to COVID-19 include testing contacts of all suspected COVID-19 cases.
The measures also include immediate closure and subsequent disinfection of offices, inland and border stations that might be at risk while re-opening of disinfected offices is done with the assistance and guidance of the relevant local medical authorities.
“Where practical, ZIMRA stations and offices maintain critical skeleton staff; staff are being provided with appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and sanitizers; and services are, as much as possible, being offered to clients/agents via electronic means,” Chimanda said.
He said all travellers importing dutiable goods must pre-clear and prepay before arriving at the border to reduce crowding and the time spent at border posts.
“As a mitigating measure against the spread of COVID-19 virus, clients are encouraged to access, utilise the available ZIMRA e-service facilities and reduce the risks associated with travelling or handling physical documents.
“ZIMRA encourages everyone to put their health and safety first at all times while remembering that responsible behavior at an individual level will help safeguard us all. Our prayers are with the infected and we wish them a speedy recovery.”
The Beitbridge Border Post opened for the public for the first time on Tuesday after government order a lockdown to all the country’s borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic.