Thirty-four Zimbabweans -10 from Harare, eight from Manicaland and seven from Bulawayo- died of coronavirus today as the country started its 30-day lockdown, which the opposition has condemned.
There was also a record 1 365 new cases, 777 of them in the capital alone, but only 97 recoveries.
The number of cases has risen to 17 194 and that of recoveries to 11 813 while the number of active cases has shot up to 4 963, the highest since the outbreak of the pandemic in March last year.
Harare has the highest number of active cases at 2 379, followed by Bulawayo with 493 and Matebeleland South with 477.
Mashonaland West has the lowest number of cases with 104.
The government announced a stiffer lockdown which bans the movement of people except to buy food or medicine as well as those working in the essential services sectors.
It also imposed a dusk-to dawn (6pm to 6am) curfew.
Movement for Democratic Chance Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa criticised the 30-day lockdown saying it targetted the poor.
“There is a clear pattern emerging in the way rules are crafted and enforced. The principal target are the poor people while the wealthy are allowed a free pass. Breaches committed in Borrowdale by elites must be met with the same force as breaches in Mbare by ghetto youths,” Chamisa said.
“What, for example, is the rationale for closing landports while keeping open airports? It appears elitist as air travel is limited to a few with means while the majority who use road transport are locked in.
“The closure of borders also locks in hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans who work and support families and the country in neighbouring countries. Their remittances are a major source of income but they are now locked in.
“We don’t just have a health crisis here but a governance and leadership crisis. We have provinces even districts and we have hotspots and epicenters. Why not have isolation and targeted lockdowns for hot spots, where we identify red zones than to lock the whole nation.”
Neighbouring South Africa seems to be faring badly as more than 500 people have died so far today.
The number of cases has risen to 1.13 million, 30 524 people have died and the number of active cases is now 176 356.
Globally all the figures are on the increase. There are now 86.6 million cases, 1.87 million deaths, 61.4 million recoveries and 23.3 million active cases.