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“I am likely to impose further restrictions and measures”: Mnangagwa

‘Mnangagwa’s rule in danger’ – Think-tank

President Mnangagwa has warned of his intentions to “impose” further tightened lockdown restrictions in a bid to contain transmission of the coronavirus which has seen more local cases spiking, Harare Live has learnt.

The numer of local cases has grown worringly and government is going to adopt a zonal and clustered approach to contain the rapid spread.

Speaking yesterday after receiving a new batch of donations to support the battle against Covid-19, President Mnangagwa said Africa was now under serious attack from Covid-19.

According to The Herald, new figures last night showed the extent of the growing case-load. The total of confirmed Zimbabwean Covid-19 infections reached 1 089 yesterday, with 346 being local infections and the rest among returnees, after 25 new cases were detected, three among returnees but 22 local infections, all in Harare.

The Ministry of Health and Child Care said while one of the new local infections was a contact of a known patient, investigations were still in progress to identify the source of the other 21. Zimbabwe has 395 confirmed recoveries and 20 deaths.

Multichoice Zimbabwe chairman Peter Van Deventer (right) presented disposable isolation gowns to President Mnangagwa in Harare yesterday

South Africa now has 4 346 deaths from just under 300 000 confirmed cases, but the daily rate of infection is finally falling.

President Mnangagwa said the virus, which negatively affected developed nations that have first class health systems, appeared as though it was not a huge threat to Africa in the early days but was now affecting the continent, though differently, a move that has driven him to consider imposing further restrictions and measures to reduce the pandemic’s spread.

“With the surge in the Covid-19 cases, I am likely to impose further restrictions and measures. We think that we are not yet out of the woods. Those who do projections say to us that this is just the beginning. We are yet to see the worst.

“I appeal to our people not to be complacent. We should continue where possible to contribute towards fighting and mitigating against this  pandemic.

“Initially, I declared a national lockdown because I felt as President that we are on a weak platform to deal with pandemic and when I felt that the machinery had begun to work to capacitate our systems, I relaxed some of the measures recommended by the World Health Organisation, but now with the surge that is coming around, I am likely to impose further restrictions and measures,” he said.

The President said the decisions would not be easy as they affect industrial production and people’s livelihoods, but Government’s priority was on saving lives for a period and survive the pandemic and then pick-up the pieces and move on at some point.

“My belief is that even before the arrival of the pandemic in Zimbabwe, we had problems with the economy. It is most critical that we save lives so we can sit around again and discuss about restructuring and reconstruction of our economy. So I say this because I think that I have to move with the nation on the need to save lives as a priority and protect the economy as a second priority,” he said.-Herald