Zimbabwean Government Extends Lockdown Measures To Prevent Spread Of Omicron

The Zimbabwean government on Tuesday extended lockdown measures in the country for two weeks to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant, reported CGTN Africa.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced enhanced measures after the detection of the new coronavirus variant two weeks ago. The measures included an extension of curfew hours to run from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., a requirement for all returning residents and visitors to the country to undergo PCR test and quarantine at their own expense, regardless of the PCR test result, and a ban on alcohol consumption at bottle stores.

Zimbabwean Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said during a media briefing that the government has decided to extend COVID-19 lockdown measures by another two weeks in view of the marked increase in the number of daily COVID-19 infections.

Notably, Zimbabwe has recorded an exponential rise in COVID-19 infections, which rose to 28,904 in the second week of this month from 5,055 cases reported in the previous week.

Mutsvangwa said prevention measures being implemented such as vaccination continue to contribute to the reduction in the severe impact of this virus.

She added that Zimbabwe has adequate vaccine stock to cover the targeted population after receiving another batch of Sinopharm vaccines from China last week.

The Zimbabwean minister urged those eligible for COVID-19 vaccination to get vaccinated and continue to adhere to all the recommended public health preventive measures, such as wearing face masks, avoiding closed spaces, avoiding crowded gatherings, washing, and sanitizing hands, and social distancing. The measures are subject to review after two weeks.

The new omicron coronavirus variant was first detected in South Africa late last month.

In related news, the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday warned that the highly transmissible Omicron variant is spreading at a rate not seen with any previous variant of Covid-19.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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