Govt Extends Kwekwe Lockdown By Two More Weeks

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Kwekwe’s intensified localised lockdown, which came into full swing on May 24 has been extended by Government for a further two weeks following a surge in active Covid-19 cases in the city and its surroundings, with the Indian variant B.1.617 being detected in some instances.

This extension comes as vaccinations continue with the next delivery of 500 000 doses now expected by Tuesday next week and schools will be barred from using premises for holiday lessons during the holidays so that all buildings can be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

Under the intensified lockdown, Kwekwe has recorded 74 cases in total with 70 cases still active and only three recoveries although there has been just a single death.

The district under localised lockdown comprises Kwekwe, Redcliff and surrounding areas, with a 7pm to 6am curfew being enforced.

Social and religious gatherings are banned.

The extension of the higher level lockdown comes as a total of 27 people, including children and members of staff at Mary Ward Children’s Home in the town have tested positive for Covid-19.

Mary Ward, Ruvimbo and Chiedza primary schools have recorded positive cases among pupils.

Announcing the extension of the lockdown after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said Zimbabwe was not yet out of the woods.

“As of June 7, a total of 688 696 people had received their first dose of Covid-19 vaccines and 385 275 their second dose across the country.

“The public is advised that efforts to ensure the availability of doses continue as a matter of priority,” she said.

“The Ministry of Health and Child Care is redistributing existing stocks to ensure availability of the second dose. A batch of 500 000 doses of vaccine is expected in the country by June 15.”

On schools, Minister Mutsvangwa said the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education had banned the use of school premises for holiday lessons during the three-week break.

“It is envisaged that the ban will allow thorough cleaning and disinfection of the school environment, and

this reduces the spread of Covid-19,” said the Minister.

The learning process will continue through other platforms like self-study guides which will allow pupils to continue their schooling at home.

The ministry will take the opportunity availed by the break to continue training staff on curbing the spread of the pandemic.

Four teachers at Embakwe High School in the Mangwe District of Matabeleland South Province tested positive to Covid-19, while all the 400 pupils at the school tested negative.

Minister Mutsvangwa said the Health and Child Care Ministry invoked the Public Health Act to quarantine pupils and staff at the school.