COVID19News

Zimbabwe extends lockdown by two more weeks

Zimbabwe has extended the 30-day Covid-19-induced lockdown by a further two weeks as the country continues to record daily infections and deaths.

The current lockdown measures, under level 4, which include the dusk to dawn curfew were announced on January 5.

“Fellow Zimbabweans, we continue to see a high number of Covid-19 cases and, sadly, death,” said Vice President Chiwenga in an address to the nation Friday afternoon.

“It is in light of this that His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and Commander-In- Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Cde Dr ED Mnangagwa, has decided to extend the level 4 National Lockdown by another two weeks to the 15th of February 2021.”

Chiwenga, who is also the Minister of Health and Child Care, said last week Zimbabwe’s new cases had been averaging about 300 per day, with deaths averaging 20 per day. Cumulative cases as at 1st January, 2021, Chiwenga said, were 14 084 and deaths were 369.

As at 28 January, 2021 cumulative cases reached 32 646 with deaths breaching the thousand mark at 1 160, a situation Chiwenga described as “clearly worrisome.”

“The President fully appreciates the difficulties which come with this extension,” said Chiwenga.

“Livelihoods are being disrupted yet we must save lives and our nation. We must not lose the momentum, which means we must mask up, sanitize, maintain social distance, stay at home and get tested and if positive, self-isolate.”

The Vice President said the government would continue to intensify testing and patient care throughout the country’s 10 provinces.

“We have a likelihood of new strains and variants circulating,” he said.

“These strains are more transmissible and infectious. We are doing genomic sequencing to see if these strains are in our environment. Results will be published as soon as we have them.”

On Covid-19 vaccines, he said the country would soon be bringing them in.

“A roll out plan and deployment strategy is being finalized,” explained Chiwenga.

“The nation will be kept informed on all these developments.

The Vice President however said the level 4 National Lockdown that came into force on the 5th of January 2021 had stabilised the coronavirus situation in the country.

“In relative terms and since the lockdown, the number of infections have been decreasing substantially,” he elaborated.

“Equally, our recovery rate has gone up from an all-time low of fifty-four percent to the current one which is seventy-five percent. Even though the numbers we are losing to the pandemic are falling, we bemoan the fact that Zimbabweans are dying.”

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