Harare– Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday announced that security forces would enforce a dusk to dawn curfew from Wednesday to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
In a live television broadcast President Mnangagwa said anyone who disregards or undermines the directive will be severely punished.
“As of tomorrow, Wednesday, all our security services must enforce a dusk-to-dawn curfew set to come into force daily between 6PM and 6AM,” Mnangagwa said.
Under the new measures, from Wednesday, those without jobs will be required to stay at home, except to seek food, water and medical help. Business hours will be limited to 8AM to 3PM, apart from those performing essential services.
Only registered SMEs which have been allocated workplaces will be allowed to operate and food markets will remain open, Mnangagwa said.
Public gatherings for social, religious or political purposes remain banned.
Zimbabwe has recorded 1,820 coronavirus cases, a relatively small number compared to neighbouring South Africa, but infections have started to rise faster in the last week. There were 107 new cases on Tuesday, 84 of them local transmissions while the rest were detected in citizens returning from South Africa and Botswana.
“Covid-19 is no longer a problem out there, far and beyond our borders. Rather, it is now here, amongst us and our communities,” Mnangagwa said “These measures are being taken for our collective safety. As Zimbabweans, we have to win the war against the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Many citizens in Zimbabwe say their economic prospects have worsened since Mnangagwa took over from the late Robert Mugabe following a coup in 2017.