Zimbabwe extends lockdown by two more weeks

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has further extended the country’s Covid-19 induced lockdown by two more weeks to the end of February saying the number of active cases and deaths was still high.

The Monday extension is the second one after the initial 30-day lockdown which came into effect on January 5 following the spike in coronavirus infections and deaths during the festive season was extended by two weeks to mid-month.

“I therefore extend the national lockdown by two weeks,” said President Mnangagwa.

“The extension will allow the number of active cases and those still in incubation to recede. This extension should cause a great reduction in the pool of infected people, enable the health personnel to investigate and monitor the presence and circulation of new variants.”

President Mnangagwa however reviewed business operating hours to 8am to 5pm and maintained a ban on intercity and inter-province travel.

Funeral gatherings remain pegged at 30 while all social gatherings remain prohibited.

Curfew hours have been adjusted to run from 2000hrs to 0500hrs while schools remain closed during the extension. The President said essential services remained functional while the informal sector would only resume operations after satisfying WHO guidelines.

The courts, he said, will only deal with urgent matters, adding no one would be allowed in the gallery.

“The Ministry of Health and Child Care will increase testing,” said the President.

“All private companies seeking resumption of operations should test their employees in compliance with WHO protocols.”

He urged Zimbabweans to stay home, wear masks correctly, use sanitisers and keep physical distance.

President Mnangagwa said he hoped the vaccines received from China would help alleviate Covid-19 burden in the country.

“That should see our pace of vaccinating, willing Zimbabweans increase in tempo, thus bringing us nearer to herd immunity,” he said.

“The ultimate goal is the return to our normal lives, for our children to go back to school, for us to collectively work towards growing our economy towards Vision 2030.”

Source: Centre for Innovation and Technology (CITE)

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