WORLD Zimbabwe locks down central city amid COVID-19 variant threat


Zimbabwe locks down central city amid COVID-19 variant threat


16:37, May 22, 2021

A nurse prepares a dose of the Sinopharm coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at Wilkins Hospital in Harare, Zimbabwe, March 24, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

HARARE - The Zimbabwean government has decided to lock down the central city of Kwekwe for two weeks starting from Friday after the detection of a coronavirus variant first identified in India.

Various measures have been implemented in the city to curb the spread of the variant, including a curfew, closure of bars and a ban on all public gatherings, Vice-President and Health Minister Constantino Chiwenga said in a statement Friday.

"Travelers through Kwekwe are strongly advised to spend as little time as possible in Kwekwe during the next two weeks," he said.

The government identified the COVID-19 variant B.1.617.2 on Wednesday in samples taken from a Kwekwe man who died last week after contact with a relative who had returned from India and tested positive.

The B.1.617 variant, first found in India, has been classified as a "variant of concern" by the World Health Organization as it is more transmissible.

Chiwenga said the first COVID-19 case in the city was reported on May 9.

To date, Zimbabwe has recorded 38,635 COVID-19 cases, 36,427 recoveries and 1,582 deaths.

A total of 615,296 people have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 252,100 people have been fully vaccinated.

Terms of Service & Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy to comply with the latest laws and regulations. The updated policy explains the mechanism of how we collect and treat your personal data. You can learn more about the rights you have by reading our terms of service. Please read them carefully. By clicking AGREE, you indicate that you have read and agreed to our privacy policies

Agree and continue