agwaZimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa today said the government will assess the situation in the country at the end of the 21-day lockdown period and then decide whether to extend or lift the nationwide lockdown that began on Monday as part of measures to limit the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
Zimbabwe has to date recorded nine coronavirus infections, including one death.
Asked whether the lockdown could be extended, Mnangagwa said while early indications pointed to a stable situation in the country, there was need to remain on high alert.
He was speaking after a three hour tour of Harare’s high density suburbs including Mabvuku, Highfield, Tafara, Kuwadzana, Mufakose and Chitungwiza to assess the level of adherence to the lockdown.
“I would not want to prejudge our decision. At the end of the 21 days we are going to review the situation. If we think that it is containable, we will go back (to normal) because it has its own economic and social impact so we have to weigh the possibilities of relaxing or continuing at the end of 21 days, so I would not want to pre-judge now as to what will happen,” he said.
Some countries have had to extend lockdown periods after coronavirus cases continued to rise even during the period.
Mnangagwa applauded Zimbabweans for largely adhering to the lockdown.
“We have been to Mabvuku, Tafara, Kuwadzana, Glenview, Budiriro, Highfield, Chitungwiza and so on and I am so amazed by the discipline our people have right through. People were in their homes, those who were out like in Mabvuku, I saw some people fetching water but with total discipline, well organised and I am so happy and I think that people actually appreciate the reason why government has imposed this lockdown,” he said.
“This is amazing that they have taken it so well and I think if this type of discipline is kept I am very hopeful that it will mitigate very heavily against the spread of Covid-19.”
Earlier, writing on his social media accounts, President Mnangagwa said Zimbabweans had shown great resolve in the face of the global pandemic.
“Wishing a blessed Sunday to my brothers and sisters in lockdown. I am proud of the way you have responded to this challenging situation, with discipline, commitment and spirit. The road is long, but we are on the right path. Stay strong and keep it up together we shall overcome,” he said.
Globally, the virus has infected over one million people and claimed over 65 000 lives.-New Ziana