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AfricaCorona VirusZimbabwe

Covid-19: Zimbabwe announces a stiff 30 day lockdown

By Almot Maqolo

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Zimbabwe on Saturday announced stiff lockdown measures due to the recent surge in Covid-19 cases as it almost overwhelmed the country’s health system.

This comes as the southern African nation witnessed a surge in Covid-19 cases during the festive season with 1,342 Covid-19 cases and 29 deaths being recorded in a week representing the highest number recorded so far. 

Coronavirus cases and deaths almost doubled in 2 months from 8374 on 1 November to 14084 to date. The cumulative number of Covid-19 cases in Zimbabwe as of 1 January 2021 is now 14084 cases and 369 deaths.

Vice-President and Health minister Constantino Chiwenga told the media that these measures are with immediate effect.
“Gatherings are reduced to not more than 30 people at all funerals. All other gatherings at weddings, churches, bars, bottle stores, gymnasiums, restaurants are banned for 30 days.

“The existing Covid-19 preventive health measures will be strictly enforced that is to say correct wearing of face masks, social distancing, hand sanitization and temperature checks will be strictly enforced and offenders will be prosecuted,” he said.

Only essential services, he said, are to remain open such as hospitals, pharmacies and supermarkets, with only essential staff allowed to come to work.
“These services can only open at 8 am and must close at 3pm and will be subject to curfew that will start at 6pm and end at 6am.

“Of the other commercial services only Part 4 lockdown order services such as mining, manufacturing and 3 agriculture will operate as before. Other commercial services specified on Part 5 of the lockdown order that is to say all formal businesses and registered informal traders are suspended from Tuesday 5 January 2021 for 30 days,” he said.

Chiwenga said: “Inter provincial and inter City transport services are restricted only to essential services and Part 4 commercial services.”
He said people must stay at home save for buying food and medicines or transporting sick relatives. 

“Other exceptions are as specified in the lockdown order,” he said.
As announced recently, only examination classes are allowed to open for now.
“Cross border traders are stopped forthwith save for commercial and transit cargo related to essential and critical services,” Chiwenga said. 

Air transportation remains unhindered and will continue as before, he said, with arrivals and returning residents being 4 required to present Covid-19 free certificates. 

“As for land access only returning residents and essential service drivers will be admitted subject to presentation of Covid-19 free certificates. These certificates must have been issued at least 48 hours before departure.”
He added that: “Just to be clear, restaurants, bottle stores and bars are closed for 30 days except for bars and restaurants serving hotel residents. Also, tourist facilities and national parks will operate as before subject to the usual health precautions.”

In view of the surge in Covid-19 cases the Government has intensified testing and patient care throughout all the provinces.


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