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AfricaCorona VirusZimbabwe

Zim declares June 15 a national prayer day as Covid-19 cases hit 332

By Almot Maqolo

Zimbabwe on Thursday recorded 12 new cases of Covid-19, bringing the country’s total confirmed infections to 332, the Ministry of Health and Child Care has said. The new Covid-19 cases came out of 770 RDT screening tests and 267 PCR diagnostic tests conducted countrywide.

Most of the Covid-19 positive cases recorded in the country involve people returning mostly from neighboring countries, especially South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique, with very few locally-transmitted cases so far registered. “Twelve cases tested positive for Covid-19 today. These include 11 returnees from South Africa and one contact of a known case who are all isolated,” the ministry said in its daily update.

“To date the total number of confirmed cases is 332, recovered 51, active cases 277 and four deaths, since the onset of the outbreak on 20 March 2020.” So far, the biggest rise was when the southern African nation recorded 76 new cases of Covid-19 in one day and is partly explained by the government’s expanded testing regime now in place. All new cases except one were reported among returnees from mainly SA and Botswana.

The southern African nation has tightened security at quarantine centres for returnees to ensure no one escaped. It has taken a further step of publishing names of those who abscond. In the afternoon, Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared June 15 as the national day of prayer and fasting in the fight against the growing menace of Covid-19. He also announced that church gatherings of not more than 50 people would now be allowed, but should follow strict Covid-19 guidelines including social distancing among congregants.

Mnangagwa said prayer and fasting, in the largely Christian country, would allow the nation to seek God’s “mercy, wisdom, help and healing to overcome this deadly pandemic.”

“I therefore proclaim June 15, 2020 as the Presidential national day of prayer and fasting. Let us offer prayers of petition to the Lord that He may grant us His mercy, deliver us from this noisome pestilence and give us the wisdom to take effective steps to overcome it,” he said.

Mnangagwa said a two-hour sermon would be hosted at State House on the day, which would be broadcast live to the rest of the nation, while appealing to citizens on the day to “give up one, two or all meals in fasting.” He lauded churches for the role they have played in spreading the word on the impact and preventing the spread of Covid-19. Also, tomorrow, he is expected to give the nation an update on Covid-19 and the way forward. Zimbabwe is currently in level 2 national lockdown for an indefinite period to slow the spread of Covid-19. 

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