Zimbabwe extends lockdown but relaxes rules

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has relaxed but extended its COVID-19 lockdown by another two weeks as the country begins its vaccination programme.

Addressing the nation from the State House, President Mnangagwa said he was doing so to “allow the high number of active cases to recede”.

However, despite high profile deaths, there’s been a marked improvement in recorded cases. As of February 14 there were 68 cases recorded and two deaths.

But Mnangagwa said: “Every life lost is a big loss to us. I therefore extend the national lockdown by a further two weeks.”

Zimbabwe took delivery of 200,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine this week, and there are another 1.8 million expected next week.

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Without giving a timeline, the president said: “Vaccines from Russia, India and the UK are also on the way.”

Borders with neighbouring countries are still closed but SA’s deputy minister of home affairs, Njabulo Nzuza, said SA has approached Zimbabwe to allow more trucks to use the border despite the lockdown.

The key points of the extended lockdown are:

National lockdown extended by two weeks
Essential services business open 8am-5pm
Curfew 8pm-5am
No intercity and interprovincial travel
Funerals remain 30 people
All other gatherings banned
Private companies seeking resumption of work will test all employees first. Judiciary will open for emergency cases only and no-one in the gallery.

Meanwhile, schools remain closed while markets and the informal sector can open once they meet WHO protocols.

Companies seeking to open must routinely test workers.