Home Local Zimbabwe extends COVID-19 lockdown by 2 weeks

Zimbabwe extends COVID-19 lockdown by 2 weeks

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President Mnangagwa has extended the Level Two national Covid-19 lockdown by a further two weeks, with no further relaxations, to control more social contact while increasing pace of the national vaccination programme.

While the third wave was beaten back, the Government wants to avert a fourth wave by maintaining lockdown measures that limit infection risks, especially as each wave of Covid-19 infection is longer and worse than the previous.

Last night after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa announced the continuation of the lockdown under the current measures.

“Cabinet would also like to announce the extension of the Level 2 lockdown by an additional two weeks to enable all to heighten vaccination uptake in order to protect the nation against a possible fourth wave of the pandemic,” she said.

Minister Mutsvangwa noted that the pandemic remained under control, with the number of Covid-19 cases in schools declining, while the number of people in need of hospitalisation also going down, with no patients under intensive care.

“In general, therefore, this indicates that the national response measures instituted by Government continue to pay off and that the pandemic is being brought under control,” she said.

“Government, nonetheless, continues to call upon citizens to strictly observe the national and World Health Organisation (WHO) Covid-19 protocols as well as to get vaccinated to prevent a 4th wave of the Covid-19 outbreak.”

Government has been procuring vaccines to enable people to be vaccinated for free, and more vaccines are still arriving in the country.

“On the procurement of vaccines, it is advised that 435 600 doses were received on 5 November 2021, bringing the cumulative number of vaccines received to date to 13,258 000 doses,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

“Government takes this opportunity to assure the nation that most of the country’s vaccines still have some years to go before expiration.”

To date, more than 3,4 million people have received the first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, while more than 2,7 million others have been fully vaccinated.

Minister Mutsvangwa said as of last week, “the cumulative weekly total number of first and second doses of vaccines administered during the week under review increased to 144 253 from the 114 873 administered the previous week, indicating that the provincial vaccination blitz launched in October 2021 are yielding the desired results and will be strengthened.”

Speaking at a separate press conference yesterday, Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care Dr John Mangwiro said indications were that the national response to Covid-19 was bearing results.

“The last week has seen a marginal increase of new Covid-19 cases, with 251 cases recorded compared to 210 cases the previous week,” he said.

“This represented an average of 35 cases a day as compared to 30 per day the previous week.”

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