Mnangagwa’s full statement on lockdown extension


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President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday extended the national lockdown by 14 days but under revised restrictions. Below is his full statement:

Fellow Zimbabweans,

I am pleased by the commendable manner in which you continue to respond to the lockdown in our quest to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is now 34 days since we began the national lockdown. To date, our country has had 34 confirmed cases. Of these, five have recovered, while four are late. Five of the 10 provinces have recorded positive cases. From the upward trajectory of infections, it is evident that our country is yet to reach its peak.

The pandemic has continued to put a strain on both the nation’s livelihood and on businesses. Its adverse impact on the economy and on social lives has been severe.

As we plan to slowly return to a normal way of life, it is important that we adopt a National Strategy of possible exits from the lockdown, informed by the imperatives of Zimbabwe and its peculiarities. Our priority remains to reduce transmissions of Covid-19, and to gradually re-start the economy, without undermining the efforts to contain the pandemic.

A brief study has been made on how some jurisdictions in Africa have contained the prevalence of infections and also how they are adjusting to, or exiting from their respective approaches. The results have differed from country to country, with a number witnessing varied levels of spikes in infections after easing restrictions.

In our case, the lockdown has proved to be an effective strategy to curtail the proliferation of the disease in the country. In addition, measures such as the mandatory quarantine and isolation of all returnees have been key in achieving low figures.

Due to the high rate of imported cases from returnees from the UK, we must scale up public awareness on the danger posed by our returnees from the UK and other hotspots.

Our response to the challenge of Covid-19 has been enhanced by the establishment of the Covid-19 National Taskforce to lead and manage the national response.

This structure together with the setting up of the Covid-19 Disaster Fund saw a multi-sectoral response from the private sector, donors and the international community, which enriched our collective resources, competencies and skills.

It is imperative that our nation continues to act on two fronts, namely saving people’s lives on one hand, and saving the national economy, on the other hand.

Hence, we have gradually lifted lockdown restrictions in some sectors such as mining and the marketing of tobacco.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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