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Zimbabwe Relaxes COVID-19 Regulations Following Decline in Cases, Deaths

FILE: A woman reads messages on her mobile phone while waiting in a bank queue in Harare, Zimbabwe on Monday, Dec. 13, 2021. In Zimbabwe and other African nations, the virus's resurgence is threatening the very survival of millions of people

Zimbabwe has relaxed COVID-19 lockdown regulations following a decline in coronavirus cases and deaths in the country where over 5,000 have succumbed to the disease since March last year.

In a statement, acting President Constantino Chiwenga said over the past two weeks the country has recorded a decline in new COVID-19 cases, a situation that has resulted in the southern African nation to relax the lockdown measures.

“The Natural COVID-19 epidemic curve is indicating that the 4th wave is at its tail end and this wave appears to being brought under control.”

Chiwenga said the general school calendar is now expected to start on February 7, 2022, following a week of finalizing all reopening preparations by school administrators and parents.

He said the business community is also expected to go back to working from their offices while continuing to observe COVID-19 prevention measures such as social distancing.

Chiwenga said employers should encourage workers and clients to get vaccinated.

“Curfew shall now begin at midnight and end at 0530 hours the following day and restaurants and hotels offering catering services to operate from 0800 hours and close at 2200 hours and allow sit-ins only for fully vaccinated persons.”

He noted that all people entering Zimbabwe should undergo a valid COVID-19 PRC test not more than 48 hours from the time of their departure for the country.

“Those who do not have a valid negative PRC test and a certificate to that effect shall be denied entry into Zimbabwe … Quarantine for locals, returning residents and visitors is lifted for those fully vaccinated.”

He said the wearing of masks in public places is still mandatory and eligible people should get vaccinated.

“The practice of WHO (World Health Organization) recommended COVID-19 preventive public health and social measures that include washing of hands, sanitizing, social distancing, avoiding crowds and gatherings to continue.”

As at 27 January 2022, Zimbabwe had 229,096 confirmed cases, 216,699 recoveries and 5,324 deaths. To date, a total of 4,256,799 people have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and over 3.2 million their second dose.

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