Zim gears up for extended restrictions as COVID-19 shows no signs of abating

President Emmerson Mnangagwa
  • President Emmerson Mnangagwa says government unsure if restrictions will be stopped or extended
  • A lockdown without testing, tracking and isolating is useless says Chamisa
  • WHO urges politicians to work across party lines and ideologies saying “unity is the only option to defeat this virus.”

ZIMBABWE is set to enter its third week of national lockdown with President Emmerson Mnangagwa saying he cannot tell whether at the end of the current 21-day national lockdown, restrictive regulations will be lifted.

This comes as the number of confirmed cases in Zimbabwe rose to 11 on Wednesday with the death toll standing at three.

“The question of lockdowns? We are at different levels of impositions of lockdowns in the region,” Mnangagwa said yesterday.

I cannot tell you whether at the end of 21-days we shall lift the lockdown. I only appeal that all of us observe the lockdown, observe the measures to comply. That way we save lives. Be remembered for efforts to save lives,” he said.

Health practitioners and unions among them Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights have complained about inadequate screening of people for coronavirus symptoms across the country.

Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa on Thursday said there was need to step up testing and tracking efforts if the country was to survive the raging effects of COVID-19.

“A disaster is loading in Zimbabwe. Lives are at risk.We must invest on testing and tracking,” Chamisa wrote on his twitter account.

“A lockdown without testing, tracking and isolation is useless.Rwanda has tested over 1500 people in two days and SA 68000 so far. Zim has “tested” 392 only over the past month.Leadership a necessity!” he concluded.

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Monday said testing was paramount if the world was to win the war against COVID-19

On Wednesday Tedros urged political parties to join hands and fight COVID-19 stressing “unity is the only option to defeat this virus.”

“My message to political parties: do not politicize this virus. If you care for your people, work across party lines and ideologies … Without unity, we assure you, even any country that may have a better system will be in trouble, and more crises,” Tedros told a virtual press conference from Geneva.

No need to use COVID to score political points. You have many other ways to prove yourselves. This is not the one to use for politics, It’s like playing with fire,” Tedros added.

Analysts say Zimbabwean politicians have so far put political ambitions first ahead of the national good with the Zanu-PF led government recently widening those divisions through the announcement of the MDC’s Supreme Court ruling in the middle of a national crisis.


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