Mnangagwa announces measures to curb ‘Omicron-induced fourth wave’

Zimbabwe has been experiencing a sharp increase in COVID-19 infections and deaths, with more than 2,000 cases and 30 deaths reported on Thursday.

FILE: Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Picture: AFP

HARARE - In a televised address on Friday, President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced an extension of measures, including a curfew, to combat what he called an Omicron-induced fourth wave.

Zimbabwe has been experiencing a sharp increase in COVID-19 infections and deaths, with more than 2,000 cases and 30 deaths reported on Thursday.

President Mnangagwa said his government was struggling to flatten the curve of this fourth wave; he said latest figures showed an average of 20 deaths and more than 1,400 infections per day.

He said existing measures to combat the spread of the disease would be extended by a further two weeks.

Zimbabwe is already under a curfew from 9 pm to 6 am, and shops and restaurants have to close by 7 pm. Schools, which had been due to reopen in 10 days’ time, would stay closed until further notice, the president said.

Police in Bulawayo have said they would arrest anyone trying to celebrate New Year’s Eve on the streets on Friday, and that drivers found breaking the curfew would have their cars impounded.