Zimbabwe extends COVID-19 lockdown to March 1

President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday extended Zimbabwe's COVID-19 Level 4 lockdown by a further two weeks as the country battles…

President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday extended Zimbabwe’s COVID-19 Level 4 lockdown by a further two weeks as the country battles to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.In a live broadcast, Mnangagwa said only those in essential services would continue to be allowed to operate during the extended lockdown that began on January 5.

Among those considered to be essential services providers are medical field, security personnel, immigration and customs officials, transport operators, manufacturers of basic commodities, supermarkets, fuel stations and the media.

“Schools will remain closed for the duration of the lockdown,” Mnangagwa said.

He, however, announced that businesses would, between February 16 and March 1, be allowed to operate from 8am (0600 GMT) to 5pm. Business operating hours have been 8am-3pm since January 5.

A dusk-to-dawn curfew has been adjusted to now commence at 8pm to 5.30am compared to 6pm-6am previously.

Attendance at funerals would remain at 30 mourners, Mnangagwa said.

The extension of the Level 4 lockdown came on the same day Zimbabwe took delivery of the first 200,000 COVID-19 vaccine on Monday. The vaccines were donated by the Chinese government.

Mnangagwa said vaccination of frontline workers would commence this week while the country awaited delivery of other vaccines sourced from Russia, China, India and the United Kingdom.

Zimbabwe has recorded over 14,100 COVID-19 cases and more than 1,400 deaths since April 2020.