Zimbabwe extends lockdown measures amid surging cases of Omicron variant

2021-12-15 02:55:15 GMT2021-12-15 10:55:15(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

HARARE, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Zimbabwean government on Tuesday extended the COVID-19 lockdown measures for two weeks to prevent the spread of the omicron variant.

Two weeks ago, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced enhanced measures after the detection of the new variant, which include a requirement for all returning residents and visitors to the country to undergo PCR test and quarantine at their own expense, regardless of the PCR test result, an extension of curfew hours to run from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. and a ban on alcohol consumption at bottle stores.

During a media briefing, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said that in view of the marked increase in daily COVID-19 infections, "COVID-19 lockdown measures have been extended by another two weeks."

Zimbabwe has recorded an exponential rise in COVID-19 infections, which rose to 28,904 in the second week of this month from 5,055 cases the previous week.

"Prevention measures being implemented such as vaccination continue to contribute to the reduction in the severe impact of this virus," Mutsvangwa said.

After receiving another batch of Sinopharm vaccines from China last week, Zimbabwe has adequate stocks to cover the targeted population, she added. Enditem