Zimbabwe lifts curfew, but masks to remain mandatory

HARARE – The government on Tuesday lifted a midnight to dawn curfew imposed as part of Covid-19 containment measures, noting that the pandemic situation in the country is under control.

Zimbabwe has implemented a strict Covid-19 management programme, which included lockdowns and curfews.

Acting information minister Jenfan Muswere said the number of new Covid-19 cases continued to decrease, with 676 new infections having been recorded during the period under review, down from 758 the previous week.

He said a total of 34 Covid-19-related new admissions were recorded during the week, compared to 48 last week.


Noting that the situation was under control, ministers relaxed some containment measures but kept other public health measures including mandatory wearing of masks in place.

“No patients were admitted to the intensive care unit. This indicates that the Covid-19 pandemic remains under control, as it has been for some months now,” Muswere said during a post-cabinet media briefing.

“Accordingly, cabinet resolved to relax some Covid-19 measures and regulations as follows: that the business hours for the hospitality industry be extended to now cover the period 0800 hours to 0300 hours the following day; that, while enforcement of Covid-19 regulations must continue, the curfew which is currently running from 12 midnight to 0530 hours has been lifted; and that implementation of all Covid-19 public health and social measures must continue to be strengthened.”

Regarding the national vaccination programme, Muswere said as at 20 June 2022, a total of 6,264,867 first doses had been administered, while 4,602,713 people had received their second dose, and 856,440 their third one.

This, he said, translated to a national coverage of 55.7 percent, up from 55.6 percent last week.

With a population of about 15 million people, Zimbabwe is targeting to vaccinate 10 million (60 percent of the population) to reach herd immunity, a goal which it had aimed to achieve by the end of last year but failed due to reluctance by citizens to get jabbed.

Herd immunity, also known as ‘population immunity’, is the indirect protection from an infectious disease that happens when a population is immune either through vaccination or immunity developed through previous infection.

Some countries which have achieved herd immunity have since scrapped stringent public health measures such as social distancing and wearing face masks.

“Cabinet calls upon all citizens that have not been vaccinated to present themselves for vaccination at centres nearest to them,” he said.

Zimbabwe is using Chinese, Russian and Indian-made vaccines in its Covid-19 vaccination programme.

To strengthen its Covid-19 management systems, Cabinet last week approved the introduction of Covid-19 self-test kits, mainly at ports of entry in order to ramp up the country’s testing capacity. – New Ziana

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