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Mnangagwa Orders Zimbabweans to Stay in Doors Amid Surge in COVID-19 Cases

President Emmerson Mnangangwa

President Emmerson Mnangagwa says all Zimbabweans not doing essential work should stay indoors due an upsurge of COVID-19, which has claimed the lives of some top government officials, including Foreign Affairs Minister Sibusiso Moyo.

Speaking at National Heroes Acre on Thursday during the burial of Manicaland Provincial Affairs Minister Ellen Gwaradzimba and veteran nationalist Morton Malianga, President Mnangagwa said Zimbabweans should unit to fight against COVID-19 like what they did in the 1960s liberation war.

“Our freedom and independence was achieved by many in their own various ways. No one family, no clan ever can be credited for our independence. We achieved our aspirations for independence and peace as a united people. Equally with the current war against this evil COVID-19 pandemic as much facing our nation, we will win as a united people … I therefore urge all our people to continue to sanitize, wear face masks properly and maintain social distancing. This is not time to be tired and to let our guard down in hopelessness. Those who are not on essential duties stay at home.”

Fifty-four people died between Wednesday and Thursday and 733 tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Ministry of Health.

In a tweet, the ministry said as at 20 January, 2021, Zimbabwe had 29,408 confirmed cases, including 19,253 recoveries and 879 deaths.

In several tweets posted on the ministry’s Twitter account, Acting Health Minister, Dr. John Mangwiro, warned Zimbabweans to follow the country’s lockdown regulations in order to avoid contracting COVID-19.

Dr. Mangwiro attributed the upsurge in COVID-19 cases and deaths being recorded in the country to uncontrolled movements of people during the festive season.

He said all people in rural and urban areas are at equal risk of being infected by the viral disease.

Dr. Mangwiro urged Zimbabweans to adhere to laid down COVID-19 preventative measures such as wearing masks, washing of hands, sanitizing, maintaining social distance and limiting traveling.

He noted that people with underlying conditions such asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and heart problems are at high risk because their immune system is not at its peak.

Zimbabwe is currently under restrictive COVID-19 measures announced three weeks ago.

Johns Hopkins University reports that than 93 million people have contracted COVID-19 worldwide. Over two million people have succumbed to the disease.