Clampdown on lockdown violators

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Staff Writer

Harare – Zimbabwe’s Cabinet on Tuesday resolved rigorously enforce its level two lockdown following a surge in confirmed cases of COVID-19.

The country initially imposed a rigid lockdown on March 30, which has been gradually eased to allow for the reopening of strategic sectors after the already fragile economy took a heavy knock, prompting its Treasury to ask for urgent financial assistance from the IIMF.

The IMF has turned Zimbabwe down.

Zimbabwe has recorded more than 700 cases of COVID-19, mainly among returning residents.

Despite the country still officially on lockdown, people have been venturing out in greater numbers to make a living as inflation surged above 800 percent last month.

A Zimbabwean minister said, “Cabinet on Tuesday resolved to deploy more security details to enforce the lockdown in light of the rising cases of COVID-19 infections. The general agreement was that if we cases continue to rise, we may end up having to re-impose the total lockdown because the currently trajectory is not encouraging at all.

“We looked at the Malawi case study where cases have risen exponentially to nearly 2,000 since they held their presidential election rerun. So we said we cannot afford such a wave of infections.

“So we said to the Home Affairs Minister he must double containment efforts and the police must be seen doing much more before the situation goes out of hand. The general indication was that the police are not taking the matter seriously.

“We are also currently battling with returnees from South Africa, Botswana and other countries who are escaping from quarantine centres and cannot be accounted for.”

Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa confirmed Cabinet’s concerns.

“Yes those concerns were raised, but we are exploring many other alternative control measures before we can think of imposing a fresh strict lockdown. So for now, that is out of consideration unless if the situation worsens to unsustainable levels,” she said.

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