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COVID19: Zimbabwe extends coronavirus lockdown ‘indefinitely’

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has extended a nationwide lockdown meant to regulate the spread of coronavirus, though the restrictions are going to be reviewed every fortnight .

In a live broadcast on Saturday, Mnangagwa said the measure would remain in situ “for an indefinite period”, adding that “the country must ease out of the lockdown during a strategic and gradual manner”.

He said informal street markets, where many Zimbabweans make a living, would remain shut while the govt consulted health specialists on the way to reopen them safely.

But businesses like manufacturers, supermarkets and banks, which are allowed to continue operating, will see their operating hours extended from a maximum of six hours to quite eight hours between 8am (06:00 GMT) and 4:30pm (14:30 GMT).

Mnangagwa said the many Zimbabwean migrants returning home hebdomadally , mainly from South Africa and Botswana, will need to undergo a 21-day quarantine in class and college buildings put aside for the aim .

The president said only students writing final examinations this year would be allowed to resume classes, but didn’t say when. the govt remains performing on plans to reopen schools in phases.

The drastic restrictions have thus far borne fruit as coronavirus transmission has not been widespread and numbers remain less than the initial projections, Mnangagwa said.

Zimbabwe imposed its lockdown on March 30 and has recorded 44 confirmed coronavirus cases and 4 related deaths.

Mnangagwa said the planet Health Organization had classified coronavirus transmission in Zimbabwe as “sporadic”, with a coffee number of cases and no discernible clusters.

“This may suggest that, despite the tiny numbers tested, our country may need a reduced COVID-19 trajectory,” he said.

Doctors and experts have warned that Zimbabwe’s poorly equipped health service couldn’t deal with a severe coronavirus outbreak.

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