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Zimbabwe Extends COVID-19 Lockdown As Nation Receives 200,000 Doses of China's Sinopharm Vaccine

FILE - Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa addresses mourners at the burial of Zimbabwean minister Perence Shiri, who died of Covid-19, during his burial in Harare, July, 31, 2020.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has extended Zimbabwe’s COVID-19 lockdown by two weeks in a nation that has so far registered 1,400 deaths.

In an address to the nation aired on the state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation and monitored from Washington, Mnangagwa said the lockdown measures are necessary in bringing down COVID-19 cases in the country.

He urged Zimbabweans to stay at home, correctly wear masks, use sanitizers and practice social distancing.

Mnangagwa said, “Every life lost, is a big loss to us. I therefore extend the national lockdown by two weeks. This will see the reduction of active cases and monitoring of cases in incubation.

“Since the implementation of the current lockdown which ends midnight today, we have witnessed a marked decrease in the number of Covid-19 infections and deaths. I thank you all for observing fundamental lockdown measures.”

Businesses are now expected to operate between 8:00am to 5:00pm while only 30 will be allowed to attend funerals funerals. Intercity and provincial travels are still banned together with informal trading.

The Zimbabwean president further thanked China for donating 200,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine, which he said is expected to be rolled out this week.

“This morning we received the first vaccine consignment from China. Let me again thank the Chinese government for this gesture of great humanity. I am happy that the second consignment of vaccines procured from China will be received in a few weeks time. Vaccines from Russia, India and the UK are also on the way.

“That should see our pace of vaccinating willing Zimbabweans increase in tempo thus bringing us nearer to herd immunity. The ultimate goal is the return to our normal lives, for our children to go back to school, for us to collectively work towards growing our economy towards Vision 2030.

The Ministry of Health reports that two people died and 68 tested positive for COVID-19 in Zimbabwe on Sunday. Zimbabwe has recorded 35,172 COVID-19 cases since March last year and 30,601 recoveries. Over 1,400 people have succumbed to the disease.

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