New Covid-19 restrictions take effect

Precious |  11 months ago | local

Intensified lockdown measures coming into force today that bar all social and religious gatherings, while firmly enforcing existing protocols in the business sectors, have been endorsed by the World Health Organisation as a prompt, effective and welcome measure following last week’s noticeable rise in Covid-19 infection rates.

Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, in his capacity as Health and Child Care Minister, announced the intensified lockdown on Saturday to come into effect today.

The measures keep the economy open, although all in business have been warned that enforcement will be tighter, with offenders now facing the possible loss of business licences.

The major changes are a one-hour reduction in the maximum number of working hours to 8am to 6pm, duty staff on the premises in non-essential enterprises to be at half level, all meetings and workshops to be virtual, restaurants only allowed to serve take-aways, and bottle store hours chopped to 10am to 4pm, with owners responsible for stopping customers drinking in or around the premises.

The major change to prevent or slow infection was a ban on all religious and social gatherings, except funerals that have been limited to 30 people.

Night clubs and beer halls remain shut.

VP Chiwenga’s intervention was immediately endorsed by the WHO, which reiterated the need to follow scientifically proven interventions in the fight against Covid-19.

Restrictions have a huge impact on people’s social lives and generally, people do not like them, but Zimbabwe has been minimising the impact of Covid-19 by moving swiftly and comprehensively very early in any changes in infection rates.

WHO Country Representative to Zimbabwe Dr Alex Gasasira told Star FM that the Government’s latest intervention was welcome and critical.