PRESIDENT Mnangagwa yesterday further extended national lockdown level four by two weeks and warned that Zimbabwe faces the threat of a fourth wave being experienced in other countries.
He said this in a televised address yesterday evening as he urged citizens to comply with Covid-19 prevention protocols.
The President said the global death toll had reached 4,29 million and the grim figures are largely due to the Delta variant among other virulent variants.
The Delta variant has been attributed to 80 percent of Covid-19 cases being recorded in the country which has seen nearly 4 000 people succumbing to the pandemic nationally.
The President imposed a national level four national lockdown more than a month ago to contain a spike in Covid-19 infections and deaths.
The country is in the middle of a third wave which has seen a spike in new infections and deaths.
Under the lockdown level four lockdown, businesses are operating from 8AM to 3:30PM and there is a dusk to dawn curfew.
Government also banned intercity travelling, public gatherings and ordered funerals to be attended by at most 30 individuals.
In his address, President Mnangagwa said the level four national lockdown has started producing results as new infections have started to drop.
He said it was of concern that some neighbouring countries have started recording a fourth wave of Covid-19 infections.
“Our vaccination programme continues to gather pace. So far more than 1,8 million citizens have received their first dose, while over one million have fully been vaccinated. We thus continue to lead most countries on the African continent. While these are great milestones, our country however, still has a long way to go to reach over 60 percent of the population for herd immunity,” he said.
“Several countries, globally and in our region are beginning to experience a fourth pandemic wave. Quite worrisome to us are trends in countries that are next to us. In almost all our neighbours, infections have shown an upward trend. We therefore, need to remain vigilant now and not later, if we are to effectively control the current third wave, and avoid the fourth wave.”
President Mnangagwa said since the imposition of the level four national lockdown regulations, the country has recorded relative success in reducing infections.
“Towards the end of June 2021, the total number of the new Covid-19 cases and deaths recorded per day in our country increased dramatically, with provinces recording more than 20 percent increase. This resurgence signalled the beginning of a deadly wave.
Immediate action, including the reintroduction of level four lockdown was taken to urgently contain this spike,” said President Mnangagwa.
“Since then, the nation has made good progress in controlling the resurgence and hence the third wave. The increase in new cases per day has gone down considerably in the past two weeks, even to less than 10 percent for most provinces. This is a clear indication that the third wave and the pandemic in general is being brought under control. Unfortunately, the number of new cases and deaths per day remain unacceptably high. It is therefore for this reason that the current lockdown level four has to be extended by another two weeks. I urge us all to comply with the requirements of this emergency.”
He said adherence to all prevention protocols including social distancing, washing of hands using alcohol-based sanitisers will propel the country’s return to normalcy.
The President said getting vaccinated is one of the fastest ways of ensuring that the nation returns to normal life.
“Everyone eligible for vaccination must get vaccinated urgently. There is no good reason to delay. Rather, we must all feel the urge and responsibility to protect ourselves, our families, our neighbours and thus our nation,” said the President.