The government has announced additional stiff Covid-19-induced lockdown measures including bringing back dusk to dawn curfew and banning public gatherings for 30 days save for funerals, following a sharp increase in cases and deaths during the festive season.
There has been a surge in Covid 19 cases during this festive season with 1,342 Covid 19 cases and 29 deaths being recorded in a week representing the highest number recorded since the pandemic was detected in March last year.
“We have seen the number of Covid 19 cases and deaths almost double in 2 months from 8374 on 1 November to 14084 to date,” said Vice President Constantino Chiwenga during a press conference in Harare Saturday evening
“The cumulative number of Covid 19 cases in Zimbabwe as of 1January 2021 is now 14084 cases and 369 deaths.”
Chiwenga, who is also the Minister of Health and Child Care said In view of the surge in Covid 19 cases the government has intensified testing and patient care throughout all the provinces, adding a raft of measures were being implemented with immediate effect.
“Gatherings are reduced to not more than 30 people at all funerals,” he said.
“All other gatherings at weddings, churches, bars, bottle stores, gymnasiums, restaurants etc. etc. are banned for 30 days. The existing Covid-19 preventive health measures will be strictly enforced that is to say correct wearing of face masks, social distancing, hand sanitization and temperature checks will be strictly enforced and offenders will be prosecuted.”
Chiwenga said only essential services are to remain open such as hospitals, pharmacies and supermarkets, with only essential staff allowed to come to work, adding those services can only open at 8 am and must close at 3pm and will be subject to curfew that will start at 6pm and end at 6am.
“Of the other commercial services only Part 4 lockdown order services such as mining, manufacturing and agriculture will operate as before, explained Chiwenga.
“Other commercial services specified on Part 5 of the lockdown order that is to say 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 4 commercial services.”
Chiwenga stressed: “People must stay at home save for buying food and medicines or transporting sick relatives. Other exceptions are as specified in the lockdown order.
Only examination classes, Chiwenga said will, open, adding cross border traders were banned forthwith save for commercial and transit cargo related to essential and critical services.
“Air transportation remains unhindered and will continue as before with arrivals and returning residents being required to present Covid 19 free certificates,” elaborated Chiwenga.
“As for land access only returning residents and essential service drivers will be admitted subject to presentation of Covid19 free certificates. These certificates must have been issued at least 48 hours before departure.
He further emphasized: “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.”