Govt re-imposes strict lockdown measures

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Harare (New Ziana) – The government has ordered the closure of restaurants, churches, gymnasiums and bars for 30 days as part of strict lockdown regulations re-imposed in response to a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping across the country.

Zimbabwe is currently experiencing a resurgence of COVID-19 infections, a situation largely blamed on complacency and non adherence to preventative measures.

Health and Child Care Minister, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga said the country had seen a surge in COVID-19 cases during this festive season.

He said 1 342 COVID-19 cases and 29 deaths were recorded in a week, the highest number of infections the country had recorded since the outbreak.

“We have seen the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths almost double in two months from 8 374 on 1 November to 14 084 to date. The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Zimbabwe as of 1 January 2020 is now 14084 cases and 369 deaths,” he said.

In light of the deteriorating situation, VP Chiwenga 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, are banned for 30 days.

“The existing COVID-19 preventative measures will be strictly enforced, that is to say wearing of face masks, social distancing, hand sanitisation and temperature checks will be strictly enforced and offenders will be prosecuted.”

He added: “Only essential services 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 8am and must close at 3pm and will be subject to curfew that will start at 6pm and end at 6 am.”

Vice President Chiwenga said other commercial services including mining, manufacturing and agriculture would continue operating as before.

“All formal businesses and registered informal traders are suspended from Tuesday 5 January 2021 for 30 days. Inter provincial and inter-city transport services are restricted only to essential services and part four commercial services. People must stay at home save for buying food and medicines or transporting sick relatives,” he said.

“As for schooling only examination classes are to open now. Cross border traders are stopped forthwith save for commercial and transit cargo related to essential and critical services. Air transport remains unhindered and will continue as before with arrivals and returning residents being required to present COVID-19F 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: “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.”

The government had already warned that COVID-19 treatment centres across the country could soon be overwhelmed if cases continued piling up.
New Ziana

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