Statement by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on the extension of the COVID-19 lockdown by another two weeks.
EXTENSION LOCKDOWN OF COVID-19 NATIONAL LOCKDOWN
Over the last two weeks, the nation has experienced a 472% dramatic and exponential increase in new COVID-19 cases, with 28 904 new cases being recorded last week alone, compared to the 5 055 cases the week before.
The last genomic sequencing has linked all the cases to the highly transmissible new Omicron variant.
Though the majority of the positive cases have mild disease, the numbers are very high, and the proportion of the moderate to severe disease is likely to overwhelm our case management capacity, given our acute depletion of specialized human resources in our health institutions.
Consequently, Government extends the current lockdown for a further two weeks, with the following measures in place:
1. Scaling down all Government activities to 30%, except for essential services;
2. Commuters to wear face masks in both public and private transport settings, coupled with strict law enforcement of this critical public health measure;
3. Hotels and lodges are directed to provide room services to their clients, as opposed to gathering in restaurants and bars without face masks;
4. Businesses that are subject to annual shutdown are encouraged to close early for the festive season, at least by Unity Day 22 December 2021.
5. All those eligible for COVID-19 vaccination, including the booster shot, should be vaccinated.
Meanwhile, members of the public are encouraged to continue adhering to all the recommended public health preventive measures, such as wearing face masks properly, avoiding closed spaces, avoiding crowded gatherings, washing of hands with soap and running water, sanitizing, social distancing and getting vaccinated.
These measures are subject to review after two weeks.
God bless us all,
I thank you.