Yesterday, President Mnangagwa announced new Covid-19 restrictions in response to a spike in new coronavirus cases and deaths. As of yesterday evening deaths stood at 26 with cases now at 1 820. One thing to note is that there was no talk of levels like back in April. This is probably because there were never any predictable levels to begin with and back then the government was just copying South Africa in a bid to sound more organised.
What are the new restrictions applicable to Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans?
- All non-working sections of our population will be required to stay at home; except for purposes of securing food, water and health services.
- Where travel and social contact becomes essential and inevitable, every Zimbabwean should and must uphold the four requirements set out by the World Health Organization, W.H.O., which are:
- Wearing masks or equivalent protective materials;
- Observing strict standards of hygiene, including the washing of hands or use of sanitizers;
- Mandatory screening in all public places and buildings;
- Social distancing in all public places and at all times;
- With effect from tomorrow Wednesday 22 July 2020, all business premises must operate from 0800HRS until 1500HRS, with the exception of providers of essential services.
- As of tomorrow Wednesday 22 July 2020, all our Security Services must enforce a dusk-to-dawn curfew set to come into force daily between 1800HRS and 0600HRS. Only essential services are exempt from this curfew.
- All business operations and premises are required to observe and enforce World Health organisation anti-COVID-19 standards which include observing social distance at workplaces, wearing of masks at all times, regular screenings and strict hygienic standards at workplaces;
- Only registered SMEs which have been allocated workspaces will be allowed to operate and must comply with the parameters and protocols set by the World Health Organisation.
- Our food markets will remain open and operational and must observe set measures, rules and requirements meant to uphold public health. Suppliers to markets should be facilitated to reach the markets, including by our Security Forces;
- Inter-city/town public transport and inessential transport to all rural areas remain banned.
- All approved buses and vehicles for public transport should ensure and enforce public health standards, including the screening of passengers before boarding, and the disinfecting of all public vehicles after each round trip;
- Public gatherings for social, religious or political purposes remain banned. Funeral gatherings remain curtailed, in line with public health requirements.
- Desertion from places of quarantine by returnees and infected persons, resulting in the exposure of innocent lives to the virus will be considered a criminal act and invite a very robust response from our law- and public health-enforcement arms.
- Anyone who knowingly exposes, aids, abets, or infects innocent persons, whether by breaching conditions of isolation or by encouraging actions which undermine public health measures which Government has announced or undertaken, will be liable, and severely punished accordingly.