By Idah Mhetu
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has issued a ban on “inessential travel” outside the country by locals and further banned the taking of alcohol inside bars in his government’s latest attempts to arrest the further spread of the deadly coronavirus in the country.
Zimbabwe has recorded two positive cases of the virus which claimed its first victim on Monday in Zororo Makamba, son to top businessman and politician James Makamba.
Addressing the media at State House Monday evening, Mnangagwa also reduced the number of people allowed to gather in one place at the same time from the initial 100 limit to 50.
The President also moved to issue a blanket ban on “gatherings around night clubs, bars, beerhalls, movie houses, swimming pools, gymnasiums and sporting activities, until further notice”.
“I am aware that this curtailment of social activities will be hard on all of us,” Mnangagwa said.
“However, such tough measures have become necessary and unavoidable for our collective safety as a nation.”
Hospital visits have also been reduced to one visit per day and one relative per person.
In his latest tightening of anti-coronavirus measures, Mnangagwa seemed to be in unison with his opposition rival Nelson Chamisa who told the media earlier the President should start effecting a systematic lockdown of the country in what should include the banning of all incoming international flights with immediate effect.
“It is my humble submission that the country starts implementing a systematic lockdown, a process which is time marked to make sure that we as a leadership take the necessary precautionary measures to also boost up our capacity, our preparedness and of course attend to infrastructural deficiencies that we have to attend to,” Chamisa told journalists.
“We must stop all overseas flights into Zimbabwe with immediate effect. We need all visitors from high risk countries to be put in some kind of mandatory quarantine for a particular period subject to testing and also make sure mechanisms are put in place if there is need for treatment.”