Zimbabwean govt extends lockdown by two weeks




Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa

The modified Level 4 lockdown has been extended by a further two weeks and Government is encouraging everyone to get vaccinated and to fully embrace the standard measures of masking, social distancing and sanitising.

Schools remain closed although there have been suggestions that as rates continue to fall they could open sooner than the banned non-essential activities.

The extension was expected as the average infection rates, while running at around 13 percent of those seen at the peak of the third wave in the middle of last month are still around nine times the rates seen between major waves of infection. The average death rate is also around 10 times the intra-wave rate.

Yesterday there were 27 deaths and 319 new cases reported.

In a statement yesterday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said although there has been a notable decrease in the number of Covid-19 infections and deaths, more efforts were required to contain the third wave.

Minister Mutsvangwa urged citizens to continue to get vaccinated, adding that the Government will continue to bring in vaccines for those that are eligible and willing to get vaccinated.

“Government wishes to inform that the Level 4 Lockdown has been extended by another two weeks. This has been necessitated by the realisation that although there has been a notable decrease in the number of Covid-19 infections and deaths, more efforts are required to contain the third wave of the pandemic,” she said. 

“We cannot afford to let our guard down until we are all safe. Members of the public are therefore urged to take this opportunity to get vaccinated. Government will continue to procure vaccines and avail them to those who are eligible and willing to be vaccinated. 

“It is also important that we continue to wear our masks, social distance and maintain all other preventive measures so that we overcome this pandemic as a nation.”

The Level 4 Lockdown was first announced towards the end of June and has remained in place since then.

However, it has been reviewed several times, with the recent modification allowing churches to reopen for sit-in services but only for fully vaccinated members. More than 1,5 million people are now fully vaccinated. – Herald