Covid-19: Zimbabwe restricts public gatherings to 100. Image Source: IANS News

Harare, June 19 : Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa has extended the localised Covid-19 lockdown measures to three more districts following a resurgence of new cases.

In a statement, Mnangagwa said Makonde, Hurungwe and Kariba districts in Mashonaland West Province would be isolated and a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew imposed, while access to and from the areas would be banned, except for essential services, reports Xinhua news agency.

He said two senior government officials had died in Karoi, in Hurungwe district, and there was an urgent need to contain the pandemic from spreading.

"Covid-19 cases continue to increase in the above-mentioned districts," Mnangagwa said, noting that on Monday, June 14, Mashonaland Wes had 38 new cases, on Tuesday the figure went up to 115 and on Wednesday there were 105 new cases.

He said Karoi had 10 tobacco auction floors and this had resulted in the town drawing growers from as far as Gokwe, of Midlands province, and Chegutu, of Mashonaland West, and other people from Harare, the capital.

Mnangagwa said the town is a business hub and has the potential to spread the disease to other parts of the country.

He also ordered that all auction floors should open between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. and that each employee should have a negative PCR or rapid antigen Covid-19 test not older than 10 days.

He ordered that commuter transport vehicles should carry half their capacity in order to promote social distancing and trucks will only stop and park in designated places for enforcement purposes.

Only 25 per cent of office employees will be allowed at their stations, except for those in essential services.

Mnangagwa said the Ministry of Health and Child Care and security forces would ensure that the measures are adhered to, including observing other protocols such as wearing of face masks, social distancing and hand sanitizing.

A localised lockdown was imposed in Kwekwe after the Delta variant was detected in the district.

The country has so far reported 40,927 total confirmed Covid-19 cases, 1,647 deaths and 37,109 recoveries.

 Latest updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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