‘Frustrated’ Zimbabwe tightens the COVID-19 restrictions, directs closure of businesses

Zimbabwe extended a national curfew, outlawed meetings, and forced non-essential companies to shutter for a month on Saturday in an attempt to stem an increase in coronavirus infections.

Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who is also Minister of Health, said that some of the stricter controls were applicable immediately and included 6 p.m. To six o’clock. Curfew and a ban on intercity transport. Non-essential companies will also be suspended from Tuesday, he added.

“People must stay at home save for buying food and medicines or transporting sick relatives,” Chiwenga told a news conference.

The country had recorded 1,342 COVID-19 cases and 29 deaths in one week, the higest to date, he said.

“Only essential services are to remain open such as hospitals, pharmacies and supermarkets, with only essential staff allowed to come to work,” Chiwenga said, adding such services would have reduced hours and be subject to the night curfew.

Overwhelmed, overrun': Zimbabwe tightens COVID restrictions | Coronavirus  pandemic News | Al Jazeera

Earlier on Saturday, government spokesman Nick Mangwana wrote on Twitter that “we are being overwhelmed and overrun by this virus”.

Chiwenga said that air travel is still permitted, with arrivals and returning residents being asked to request certificates showing that they are free of COVID-19.

Zimbabwe first imposed a stern lockout in March, then eventually relaxed the controls. A total of 14,084 cases and 369 deaths have been reported.

Last week, the government postponed the re-opening of the schools scheduled for Monday, owing to an increase in coronavirus infections and a tropical storm that swept through the country.

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