By Idah Mhetu
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has declared the coronavirus a national disaster and further decreed a ban on weddings, church gatherings and foreign travels to countries worst affected by the rampaging disease.
In a special address to the media at State House this Tuesday afternoon, Mnangagwa also moved to suspend this year’s Independence Day celebrations which were scheduled for Bulawayo on 18 April and this year’s edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair.
“Today government deliberated on this looming threat, and has decided to take additional measures to ensure that our national response is effective, comprehensive and complete,” said Mnangagwa.
“Government has decided that Coronavirus pandemic be declared a National disaster. This allows government to mobilise resources to take necessary measures in dealing with the pandemic.
“Government has decided to postpone, curtail or cancel public events, gatherings and activities.
“In that respect government has postponed the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, ZITF, all National Independence celebrations previously planned, and pending international Sporting fixtures until the threat of Covid-19 recedes. All activities will resume as soon as we are satisfied that our nation is nolonger at risk.”
He maintained Zimbabwean schools shall remain open until their initially scheduled closing at the beginning of next month.
“Dates for school opening will be announced,” he said.
Any gathering of people of over 100 people has been banned for the next 60 days.
Sporting events have also been suspended with immediate effect.