Zimbabwe’s Kwekwe district extends lockdown over surge in COVID-19 cases

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By Wisdom Deji-Folutile

Kwekwe, a district in Zimbabwe, has intensified efforts to avoid another wave of Coronavirus by extending lockdown measures, which came into full swing on May 24.

The Zimbabwean Government extended the lockdown for another two weeks following the surge in active COVID-19 cases and B.1.617 variations in the city.

Announcing the extension of the lockdown after a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa, said Zimbabwe could not afford to relax on protection policies yet.

“As of June 7, a total of 688 696 people had received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccines and 385 275 their second dose across the country. The public is advised that efforts to ensure the availability of doses continue as a matter of priority,” Mutsvangwa said.

This development comes as the country continues vaccine procurement, with a shipment of 500,000 doses expected next week, according to the minister.

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“The Ministry of Health and Child Care is redistributing existing stocks to ensure availability of the second dose. A batch of 500 000 doses of vaccine is expected in the country by June 15,” she said.

Under the intensified lockdown, Kwekwe has recorded 74 cases in total, with 70 cases still active while one death has been recorded.

Under the intensified lockdown, a 7:00pm to 6:00am curfew has been enforced. Social and religious gatherings are also banned.

Mary Ward, Ruvimbo and Chiedza primary schools have recorded positive cases among pupils.

Mutsvangwa said the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education had banned the use of school premises for holiday lessons during the three-week break, allowing for thorough disinfection of the environment.

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