PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa extended the Level 2 lockdown measures by two more week with conditions announced a fortnight ago still in place.
He noted a sharp fall in new Covid-19 infections and deaths.
The Zimbabwean President said daily average infections and deaths since the last extension had fallen to 238 and four respectively, “an encouraging sign that the preventive measures that have been put in place… have been very effective.”
He traced most of the recent outbreaks to recently re-opened schools, which he said had been brought under control “before they spilled into communities.”
“In order to ensure that we continue along the path towards total containment of the Covid-19 pandemic, I have decided it prudent to extend the Level 2 lockdown measures announced a fortnight ago by a further two weeks,” Mnangagwa said.
The situation “will be assessed thereafter to assess the progress we shall have made in order to move to a more relaxed level,” he added.
Two weeks ago, Mnangagwa lifted a ban on inter-city travel, extended business working hours, shortened an overnight curfew and okayed public gatherings of up to 100 people, but nightclubs are still prohibited from opening.
The ministry of health says 2,949,025 people had received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine by Monday, while 2,065,395 are fully vaccinated after taking their second dose. This translates to about 19.6 percent of Zimbabwe’s 15 million people for the first dose, and 13.7 percent for the second dose.
While addressing a thirty-second Post-Cabinet Press Briefing on Tuesday, Information Minister said number of cases recorded went up to 1 669 this week.
“The education sector contributed significantly to this increase. Government has, therefore, instituted the following measures to contain the COVID-19 surge in schools:
1. enhancement of surveillance and contact-tracing at schools and in the surrounding communities;
2. increasing on-site COVID-19 testing of all suspected cases, contacts and surrounding communities;
3. isolation and management of all COVID-19-positive cases;
4. quarantining of those exposed;
5. restriction of movement into and out of the affected schools until the outbreaks have been controlled;
6. enhancement of public health and social protocols, including social distancing, hand washing, sanitization and wearing of face masks;
7. empowering teachers to detect and report suspected cases;
8. enhancement of awareness campaigns in schools and surrounding communities; and
9. vaccination of all eligible populations in schools and surrounding communities,” she said.