Covid-19: Zimbabwe reintroduces 'stiff' national lockdown measures with immediate effect

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Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa wears a protective face mask as he has his temperature taken upon his arrival for the burial ceremony of Zimbabwe's agriculture minister, Perrance Shiri, at the National Heroes Acre on 31 July 2020, in Harare.
Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa wears a protective face mask as he has his temperature taken upon his arrival for the burial ceremony of Zimbabwe's agriculture minister, Perrance Shiri, at the National Heroes Acre on 31 July 2020, in Harare.
PHOTO: Jekesai Njikizana/AFP
  • Zimbabwe introduced strict national lockdown measures after a recent surge in cases in the country.
  • These include an overall curfew from 18:00 to 06:00, with even essential services premises having to close at 15:00.
  • All gatherings have been banned for 30 days, except for funerals, which are limited to no more than 30 attendees.

Harare – Zimbabwe's government on Saturday imposed a national lockdown with immediate effect, following a surge in Covid-19 cases, creating a major problem for most citizens who rely on the informal employment sector.

Only essential services, such as hospitals, pharmacies and supermarkets will remain operational for the next 30 days, putting more pressure on already poverty-stricken families.

The southern African nation is already struggling with a deepening economic crisis, hyperinflation and high unemployment.

The government first imposed a nationwide lockdown in March to contain the spread of Covid-19, but had eased most of those measures amid fears of further economic malaise.

Vice president and health minister Constantino Chiwenga told reporters there had been a huge spike in cases over the festive season, which almost doubled the number of infections recorded throughout the year.

Funerals allowed, all other gatherings banned

"In light of the recent surge in Covid-19 cases, the following stiff lockdown measures are being put in place with immediate effect," he said.

"Gatherings are reduced to not more than 30 people at all funerals. All other gatherings at weddings, churches, bars, bottle stores, gymnasiums, restaurants etc etc are banned for 30 days," he added.

Even premises providing essential services will have to close at 15:00.

A new overall curfew will run from 18:00 to 06:00.

Covid-19 cases have almost doubled in two months from 8 374 at the start of November, to 14 084 now.

A total of 369 virus-related deaths have been recorded in the country since the outbreak of the pandemic.

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