Covid-19 hotspots Byo and Harare to go under strict lockdown

Cabinet on Tuesday recommended that Bulawayo and Harare who are deemed as Covid-19 ‘hotspots’ be placed under strict lockdown to halt the spread of local transmissions while the opening of schools has been deferred.

The two cities, have recorded most of the infections and fatalities.

As of July 13, Harare had recorded 318 cases and 8 deaths while Bulawayo had recorded 188 cases and 7 cases.

Matabeleland South had recorded 159 cases and no fatalities.

Nationally, Covid-19 cases were at 1034, with 343 recoveries and 19 deaths. Imported cases make up the bulk of the confirmed cases at 725 while local transmissions are now at 309.

Speaking during the post cabinet media briefing, Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Monica Mutsvangwa noted that cabinet was disturbed by the spike in Covid-19 locally transmitted cases and the number of deaths recorded.

“To curb the increase in transmissions as well as deaths from Covid-19, the following measures were adopted: (a) that the current lockdown restrictions will be tightened, while localised lockdowns are introduced in hotspot areas and further opening up of the economy is halted; (b) that testing in communities with high cases of local transmission such as Bulawayo will be increased

(c) that the re-opening of schools shall be deferred pending a review of the situation, while the writing of public examinations continues;(d)that private schools that have already opened without permission will be penalised; (e) that Government shall have the sole responsibility for inter-city travel for those that really require to travel especially to seek medical attention; and (f) that two (2) buses will be availed to transport those that test positive from Beitbridge to their respective provincial isolation centres,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

Minister Mutsvangwa revealed that President Emmerson Mnangagwa will announce “comprehensive measures on the way forward regarding the country’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.”

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