Zimbabwe imposes nationwide curfew after spike in COVID-19 cases


President Emmerson Mnangagwa has imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew starting Wednesday as part of efforts to curb the spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

The move to enforce a curfew between 6pm and 6am follows a recent spike in confirmed coronavirus infections.

All non-working Zimbabweans will be required to stay at home, except to buy groceries and seek medical attention. Business hours will be limited to 8am to 3pm, apart from those performing essential services.

“We can no longer be complacent and that requires urgent and decisive measures,” Mnangagwa said.

He added: “These measures are being taken for our collective safety. As Zimbabweans, we have to win the war against the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Zimbabwe, whose healthcare system has been struggling from years of neglect, has recorded more than 1 800 coronavirus cases.

Mnangagwa initially imposed a 21-day coronavirus lockdown on March 30, banning large gatherings and ordering most businesses to close except for food shops in a country already suffering from rampant hyperinflation and shortages of basic goods.

The government relaxed the restrictions in May, allowing large corporations to open but under strict conditions to ensure the safety of their staff and customers.

Travel between cities and gatherings of more than 50 people for social, religious and political reasons remain banned.

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