Zimbabwe’s government preferred to extend the COVID-19 lockdown to keep the epidemiological situation under control. The nationwide lockdown planned to be ended on May 3rd, ZNCC said quoting President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The official announcement on extending the lockdown in Zimbabwe was aired on television. The Zimbabwean President confessed it has been a hard decision not to ease the restrictions caused by COVID-19 infection.
The nation’s leader said the main objectives of the extension are to flatten the curve and to increase testing and coronavirus recoveries to lessen the burden on the health system.
The news on extension of quarantine caused mixed feelings among Zimbabweans. Some fear they will die of hunger while others are of the view that the lockdown is necessary to save lives.
“The country is yet to meet the conditions for the lifting of the lockdown which is when the transmission of the virus is fairly under control. Guided by these realities, government has decided to extend, with immediate effect, a national lockdown by a further 14 days, up to May 3, 2020,” Mnangagwa said.
The high court in Zimbabwe has ordered uniformed forces not to beat up people while enforcing the 21 day COVID-19 lockdown. After the extension, depending on the outcome, the “government will announce any appropriate way forward”.
Zimbabwe’s economy suffers from COVID-19
The Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) has issued the report, in which said that the COVID-19’s affect on the economy is huge. About 75% of informal jobs would be lost while 25% of mainstream employment will be cut during the lockdown.
“There is going to be loss of employment, 25% of formal jobs will be lost and 75% of casual/temporary jobs will be lost as businesses lay off workers given the sharp contractions in many sectors,” ZNCC said.
Now, Zimbabwe is hard-pressed for forex and government operations have been compromised because revenue collection has been greatly compromised.
But for the government, the lockdown means care about the health of citizens. The most vulnerable persons are elderly people and kids.
“We are deeply worried that the virus is beginning to attack our children with more and more cases being transmitted locally,” Mnangagwa said.