President Emmerson Mnangagwa late on Friday imposed a nationwide lockdown for 21 days from Monday to help curb the spread of the fast spreading coronavirus.
By Staff Reporter
Among other measures, the military will be deployed to ensure that people are complying with the lockdown.
Public transport has been suspended, although the government-controlled Zupco will be allowed to operate, albeit under some personal distancing restrictions.
“Starting Monday the 30th of March, 2020, and subject to further review, Zimbabwe will be under a total lockdown for a period of 21 days,” Mnangagwa said.
“This means all our citizens are required to stay at home except of course in respect of essential movements relating to seeking health services, to purchase and procurement of food and medicines and other critical services supplies.
“Only state and health workers and those who maintain key infrastructure such as power, water and sanitation among others will be exempted from the lockdown.”
Zimbabweans will still be allowed to leave their homes to look for food and medicine, but Mnangagwa did not say how this provision will work.
Under the new restrictions, Mnangagwa also announced that motorists will be allowed to queue for fuel, but they will not be permitted to step out of their cars.
Zimbabwe has five confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with one confirmed death, that of media personality, Zororo Makamba, but Mnangagwa said government felt the need to introduce tighter measures to prevent an escalation.
So far, Zimbabwe has carried out only 165 tests, five of them testing positive, while the rest have been negative, according to government statistics.
In the southern African region, Zimbabwe follows South Africa in instituting such drastic measures.
South Africa has recorded more than 1 100 cases and has announced two deaths linked to the coronavirus.
A growing number of African states are also announcing tough measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus.