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Zimbabwe lockdown: Coffin makers included on list of essential services

Zimbabwe announced its national 21-day lockdown last week, now a list of essential services has been published in the government notice.

Coffins. Picture: Giovanna Gerbi/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Grim but unavoidable; coffin makers and funeral parlors are included on a list of essential services published in a government notice on Saturday.

It’s a tacit admission that while COVID-19 numbers here are low at the moment, nobody expects them to stay that way.

During the 2008 cholera crisis, the Harare City Council tried to offer free coffins and graves for those who’d succumbed.

Efforts to fight COVID-19 are being stepped up: Ethiopian Airlines, which is the only airline still running commercial flights to and from Zimbabwe will be bringing in face masks, sanitizers and other medical equipment and supplies.

ZIMBABWE'S THREE-WEEK NATIONAL LOCKDOWN

Zimbabwean authorities on Monday began enforcing a three-week lockdown in its fight against the spread of coronavirus after the disease left one person dead and infected six others.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared a 21-day "total" lockdown from Monday, curtailing movement within the country, shutting most shops and suspending flights in and out of Zimbabwe.

Police mounted checkpoints on routes leading to Harare's central business district, stopping cars and turning away pedestrians who had no authorisation to be in the area.

Elsewhere truckloads of metropolitan and national police armed with batons were on patrol, ordering people back to their homes.

"We don't want to see people here on the streets. We don't want to see people who have no business in town just loitering," a policewoman said through a loud hailer. "Everyone to their homes."

Her colleagues, in riot gear, dispersed people standing in small groups at the Copacabana minibus terminus, which is usually abuzz with people including foreign currency dealers.

Additional reporting by AFP

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