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Localised lockdown looms in Chiredzi



CHIREDZI is staring a localised lockdown following a surge in  COVID-19 cases in the past few days.

The sugarcane farming town has now been classified as one of Masvingo province’s COVID-19 hotspots.

Health ministry situational reports for Masvingo province on June 17 showed that out of 316 tests done in the province, 77 were positive with Chiredzi accounting for 56 cases.

Most of those who tested positive were not vaccinated, while one had received all the two doses of the COVID-19 jab. Six were still to receive the second dose.

Numerous businesses have closed due to COVID-19 infections, including the Cotton Company of Zimbabwe and Chingwanga Supermarket, one of the largest grocery shops in the district.

Shandai Chingwanga, owner of the supermarket, said they closed one of the shops to allow for fumigation.

“Yes, I can confirm we have closed our supermarket in the light industries and our workers are in self-isolation. This was after one of our staff members tested positive after she was tested at Bikita Rural Hospital,” he said.

Masvingo provincial COVID-19 taskforce spokesperson Rodgers Irimayi said the surge in COVID-19 cases in Chiredzi was worrisome.

“The situation is slowly getting out of hand following a surge in cases in the past week or two. Although Chiredzi has been classified as one of the hotspots in the country, I think stiffer measures need to be put in place,” Irimayi said.

Masvingo provincial medical director Amadeus Shamu said they were currently waiting for a report on what could be the drivers of a surge in COVID-19 cases, before making recommendations to the Health ministry.

”Right now, we are waiting for the report from Chiredzi. In the past week, they were carrying out investigations to ascertain the cause of the increase in positive COVID-19 cases. We can only decide or recommend if we receive a detailed report,” Shamu said.

Chiredzi district medical officer Brian Dhlandhlara, who is the vice-chairperson of the district taskforce, said he was in a meeting to decide the way forward.

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