Zimbabwe goes back to hard lockdown over rising COVID-19 deaths, infections

In a statement read on Saturday night, Zimbabwe's Vice President said 1,342 infections and 29 deaths recorded in the past week were the highest so far.

FILE: A medical staff member wearing protective equipment places a face mask on a mock patient at the Wilkins Infectious Diseases Hospital in Harare on 11 March 2020. Picture: AFP

HARARE - Zimbabwe's Vice President Constantino Chiwenga has announced a renewed hard 30-day lockdown starting Tuesday in response to rising COVID-19 deaths and infections in the country.

The measures include a dawn to dusk curfew and tight restrictions on inter-provincial travel.

In a statement read on Saturday night, Chiwenga said 1,342 infections and 29 deaths recorded in the past week were the highest so far.

Chiwenga, who is also the health minister, said restaurants, bars, gyms and liquor stores won't be allowed to operate and church services and weddings can't take place either.

Pharmacies and supermarkets are now to shut at 3pm and only agricultural, mining, manufacturing and tourism businesses are to continue to operate.

But all other businesses, including markets operated by Zimbabwe's vast workforce of informal traders, will be shut down.

The authorities have been spooked by rising deaths and infections, and locals on social media have been sharing tales of full covid wards, sick relatives and tragic covid deaths in recent days.

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