Zimbabwe limits gatherings during independence holiday to cut COVID-19 spread

2021-04-14 10:05:30 GMT2021-04-14 18:05:30(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

HARARE, April 14 (Xinhua) -- Gatherings of more than 50 people will not be allowed during Zimbabwe's 41st independence anniversary celebrations this Sunday, as the government seeks to cut the spread of COVID-19, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa has said.

Zimbabwe will mark its 41st independence anniversary on April 18, and for the second year running, the occasion will be commemorated virtually due to the pandemic.

"Cabinet is advising citizens to maintain a high level of alertness and adhere to the preventive measures already in force. This includes during the impending 41st Independence Day Anniversary when gatherings of more than fifty persons will also be prohibited," Mutsvangwa said during a post-cabinet media briefing, state-run Herald newspaper reported on Wednesday.

This comes as some schools in the country have been hit by the pandemic since they reopened last month, with one boarding school in Matabeleland South Province recording 117 cases out of a population of 281 learners and teachers.

The minister said hospital admissions for COVID-19 cases had dropped, resulting in major hospitals such as Parirenyatwa in Harare reclaiming areas in the out-patient department for routine service provision.

As of Tuesday, Zimbabwe had recorded 37,330 cases, 34,932 recoveries and 1,543 deaths related to COVID-19.

A total of 218,516 people in the country have also received their first COVID-19 jab while 29,839 have received their second since the vaccination program with Chinese vaccines began on Feb. 18.

To protect learners and avoid a COVID-19 infection spike, Mutsvangwa said, the cabinet has directed that all learners at boarding schools should remain at their respective schools during the Independence Day holiday, as happened during the Easter Holiday. Enditem