Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa has extended the country’s Covid-19 lockdown by two weeks “to allow the high number of active cases to recede”.
The lockdown, which shifted into Level 4 on January 5 2021, was to lapse on Monday.
At State House on Monday, the Zimbabwe Leader said businesses will run from 8am to 5pm; and an 8pm-5:30 am curfew comes into force immediately.
Schools remain closed while social gatherings, intercity/provincial commuting and non-essential activities are prohibited.
Further, Government manning levels will increase from 10 percent to 25 percent.
President Mnangagwa said, “While the national lockdown goals are within sight, the number of active cases and deaths, however, are still very high. These need to come down further. Every life lost is a 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 (and) enable health personnel to investigate and monitor the presence and circulation of variants.”
Zimbabwe first introduced lockdown in March 2020 after detecting its first Covid-19 case.
The situation appeared to stabilise, but peaked rapidly in January 2021, with 30 523 cases and 962 deaths reported cumulatively by January 22.
Latest statistics show the country has 35 172-plus cases and 1 400 deaths have been recorded.
Over 30 601 people have recovered.
The Southern African nation received 200 000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine on Monday. Frontline staff and the vulnerable will be inoculated first under a plan targeting at least 60 percent of the population.