On 27 March 2020, His Excellency President ED Mnangagwa addressed the nation indicating that as of 30 March 2020 Zimbabwe will be under a total lockdown for the period of 21 days.
The lockdown will certainly upset daily routines but this is a necessary action to ensure that we contain wider community spread and transmissions of the coronavirus. The Lockdown begins 00:02 hours on Monday 30 March 2020.
Members of the Inter-Ministerial Taskforce travelled to the Provinces to update and handover materials to Ministers of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution and their provincial teams in order to bring them to speed on the action plans they must undertake under the lockdown. This will see information on measures being implemented to combat and stop the spread of the coronavirus and also information on the 21-day lockdown cascading to the grassroots.
All inter-city public transportation will cease while ZUPCO will be providing inner-city transport services only. The buses will be disinfected throughout the day to ensure that passengers, bus drivers, and conductors are safe. The same goes for Public Service Commission buses. Buses will only ferry 50 percent of their carrying capacity to enable social distancing. Strict timetables will be adhered to.
The Taskforce agreed on the following measures during the 21 Day lockdown
- Private vehicles shall not carry more than 2 persons without a valid reason.
- Freight transport will not be restricted to ensure goods and products are available to a citizen, however, it shall not carry passengers. This will include cargo planes and delivery trucks,
- AID AND RELIEF DISTRIBUTION
The distribution of food aid will continue, however, distribution points will be increased in order to minimize large gatherings. At the moment grain and monetary payments are being made 760 000 households throughout the country.
- PROVISIONS OF MASKS AND SANITISERS
The country’s tertiary institutions: the University of Zimbabwe, Bindura University of Science Education, Midlands State University, NUST, Chinhoyi University of Technology, and the Harare Institute of Technology ready to produce medical gowns, hand sanitizers, hand soaps, and face masks.
As of yesterday, Chinhoyi University of Technology has produced twelve thousand (12 000) face masks and is working on producing 10 000 sanitizers and 10 000 hand soaps.
Bindura University Science Education and Harare Institute of Technology have the capacity to produce 1000 litres of sanitizers each per day and are working towards this.
The University of Zimbabwe has the capacity to produce 5 000 litres sanitizers per day and 60 000 face masks per month.
MSU has the capacity to produce 42 000 litres of hand sanitizers and 10 000 face masks per month.
- ESSENTIAL SERVICES AND EXEMPTIONS
The Taskforce also agreed on the following:
- The National Registrar’s offices will be closed with the exception for the purposes of issuing burial orders.
- Individual and institutional farms are self-contained institutions and will function as long as they adhere to the intention and spirit of the lockdown. Service providers to the agricultural sector should be operational but also adhere to measures that curb the spread and transmission of the coronavirus.
- Essential service providers, producers and their staff in the following chains must remain operational – electricity distribution, water supply, sewage and sanitation, fuel and LP gas supply, and ICT.
- Critical services and productive activities to support the health and safety of citizens including manufacturers of health-related products, agricultural and food supply related operations shall remain functional.
- Social welfare interventions are being prioritized to cater to mainstream vulnerable groups and targeted households
- Recruitment of personnel to close gaps in manning levels for the health sector.
- Tourist visitors to Zimbabwe are being encouraged to postpone their trips and not cancel. The Tourism sector is being engaged to come up with a tourism sector revival strategy.