Zimbabwe has extended the Level 4 coronavirus lockdown which prohibits movement of people except those in essential services or with special permits to 15 February arguing that though the number of new cases is declining there are still too many deaths.
The extension was announced by acting President Constantino Chiwenga who said that while the government appreciated the difficulties which come with the extension of the lockdown and the fact that livelihoods were being disrupted, “we must save lives and our nation”.
Chiwenga said there were only 14 084 cases and 369 deaths as at 1 January but by yesterday this had shot up to 32 646 cases and 1 160 deaths.
“The level 4 National Lockdown that came into force on the 5th of January 2021 has stabilized our situation,” Chiwenga said.
“In relative terms and since the lockdown, the number of infections has been decreasing substantially. Equally, our recovery rate has gone up from an all-time low of fifty-four percent to the current one which is seventy-five percent.
“Even though the numbers we are losing to the pandemic are falling, we bemoan the fact that Zimbabweans are dying at all. Any death is one death too many. Still, we need to stay the course by upping our vigilance. The war is not yet won.
“It is in light of this that His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and Commander-In- Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Cde Dr ED Mnangagwa, has decided to extend the level 4 National Lockdown by another two weeks to the 15th of February 2021.”
The current extension coincides with the end of the lockdown in South Africa though South Africa is on a relaxed Level 3 lockdown.
It closed all its borders until 15 February.
Chiwenga’s full statement below
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