Mnangagwa extends Zimbabwe lockdown by another 14 days

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By Robert Tapfumaneyi

Lockdown now partial, downgraded to Level 2

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has extended the country’s lockdown period by another two weeks, downgrading it to Level 2.

The measure, initially introduced 30 March this year, is aimed at reducing the spread of coronavirus.

Under Level 2, Mnangagwa announced industry shall re-open but only from 8 am to 3 pm per day provided companies met the required health standards.

Learning institutions and informal markets however remain closed.

Mnangagwa, in his address at State House Friday, also said public transport such as commuter omnibuses remain banned with buses being the only public transport allowed to operate.

“Noticing that there is now gradual increase of infections, the lockdown will continue for the next 14 days, however relaxed to level 2,” Mnangagwa said.

“Industry, commerce and bus operators can only re-open and operate upon fulfilling the outlined requirements.

“Health inspection teams will immediately randomly check for compliance. Those who fail to comply will be stopped from operating.

“Churches, gyms, bottle stores, bars, beerhalls and other leisure and recreational facilities remain closed.”

He added, “All people must wear masks of any type, including home-made, outside their homes.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the informal sector remains closed, except the agriculture and food supply chain.

“Public buses only will be mode of transport; omnibus, kombis, smaller taxis are still not permitted to operate.

“Bus operators must ensure that their buses are disinfected twice daily and that commuters wear masks, have their temperatures checked and have their hands sanitised before boarding the bus.”

Mnangagwa said his government’s strategy and response to the pandemic as outlined has taken into account the country’s realities, and these include what he said were illegal sanctions.

The President said associated vulnerabilities and sensitivities included, “a large informal economy, which will impact on the nature scope and anticipated impact of our interventions, an economy which is highly import dependent, a situation that has exposed us to the shocks of disruptions in the external supply chain as source countries imposed lockdowns, and as international freight systems are crippled.”

“…Notable Diaspora population from red-zones many of whom are opting to come back home, thereby threatening to constitute a large number of imported cases in the country.”