Lockdown extended by two more weeks

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Harare (New Ziana) – President Emerson Mnangagwa on Monday extended the COVID-19 national lockdown for a further two weeks, but relaxed its terms as both infections and deaths ease.

Businesses will now operate from 8am up to 5pm, while a night curfew will now begin at 8pm to 0530am.

The lockdown, first imposed in January, was due to expire on Monday at midnight.

President Mnangagwa said the extension was necessitated by the need to consolidate gains made in the past month in the fight against new infections.

“Since the implementation of the current lockdown which ends midnight today, we have witnessed a marked decrease in the number of COVID-19 infections and deaths. I thank you all most sincerely for observing the fundamental lockdown measures,” he said.

“While the national lockdown goals are now within sight, the numbers of active cases and deaths however are still very high, these still need to come down further, every life lost is a big loss to us. I therefore extend the national lockdown by a further two weeks.

“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 health personnel to investigate and monitor the presence and circulation of new variants.”

Part of the measures will see markets and other essential services remain open, while government manning levels would increase from 10 percent to 25 percent.

The judiciary will open but courts will only hear urgent cases with no one allowed in the gallery and all who attend court subject to testing.

However, intercity and interprovincial travel and social gatherings remain banned.

Funeral gatherings remain pegged at 30 people, while schools will remain closed for the duration of the two week extension.

“All private companies seeking resumption of operations should test their employees in compliance with World Health Organisation protocols,” he said.

“Those in the informal sector may only open once they have satisfied the WHO protocols.”

President Mnangagwa thanked the Chinese government for donating 200 000 doses of vaccine which arrived in the country on Monday.

He described the donation by the Chinese government as “gesture of great humanity.”

“I am also happy that the second consignment of vaccines procured from the Peoples Republic of China will be received in a few weeks time. Vaccines from other countries namely, Russia, India and the United Kingdom are also on the way, that should see our pace of vaccinating willing Zimbabweans increase in tempo thus drawing us nearer the goal of achieving heard immunity,” he said.

“The ultimate goal is a return to our normal lives, so our children can go back to school and so that we all resume our collective efforts towards recovery and growing our economy for the realisation of vision 2030.”

For that to happen, he said, Zimbabweans should remain vigilant.

“The health of our nation depends on us all,” he said.
New Ziana

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