Video: Mnangagwa declares coronavirus a ‘national disaster’

President Emmerson Mnangagwa

President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday afternoon declared the global novel coronavirus “a national disaster”, despite that Zimbabwe has not recorded a single case, at least officially.

Staff Reporter

Watch his address below:

In a televised address, Mnagagwa announced that Zimbabwe’s ports of entry will remain open, although there would be “rigorous screening”.

However, he added that smaller ports would be shuttered.

Zimbabwe unlike many countries, Mnangagwa said, will not impose a travel ban, however, he said travellers from high risk nations were discouraged from travelling to Zimbabwe.

“Our response will neither be arbitrary nor reckless,” he said.

In addition, Independence Day celebrations that were set for Bulawayo have been postponed, just as the annual Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, the country’s premier trade showcase.

“We have to act decisively,” Mnangagwa declared. “The pandemic is already having a toll on the economy and our Vision 2030.”

Funds meant for Independence Day celebrations will now be diverted to fight the coronavirus, the president said.

Sporting activities and gatherings of more than 100 people have been banned.

Schools will remain open, but their opening may be delayed, he hinted.

The government will also mount screening equipment at all public buildings.