Zimbabwe on COVID-19 lockdown from March 30

APA-Harare (Zimbabwe)

Zimbabwe on Friday became the latest African country to announce a total lockdown as part of efforts to contain the spread of the dreaded coronavirus pandemic.

Announcing the lockdown, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said his government was imposing restrictions on non-essential movements for 21 days, starting on March 30.

All shops are expected to remain closed during the lockdown except for food stalls and Mnangagwa warned businesses not to take advantage of the situation by overcharging.

Special dispensations would also be given to providers of essential services such as health workers, the security personnel as well as those involved in the movement of goods and provision of key utilities like power and water.

Also exempted would be funerals although the numbers of people attending such gatherings would be limited to less than 50.

No privately owned commuter taxis or long-distance buses would be allowed on the roads until the end of the lockdown, with only the state-run Zimbabwe United Passenger Company allowed to carry mostly those who work in the exempted sectors.

Zimbabwe has so far registered five cases of coronavirus, a virus that has devastated the world to a standstill and causes the COVID-19 disease.

The lockdown comes in the wake of similar action by other African countries such as neighbouring South Africa and Namibia.

The South African government has ordered its people to stay at home for the next 21 days starting on Friday while Namibia has imposed a curfew on non-essential movement in two of its 14 regions –Erongo and Khomas – with effect from Saturday.

Khomas region is where the Namibian capital Windhoek is located while Erongo is where the crucial port city of Swakopmund is found.

South Africa had by Friday recorded 1,170 cases of coronavirus while Namibia had registered eight.


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