Health workers in Harare, Zimbabwe. Picture: SUPPLIED
Health workers in Harare, Zimbabwe. Picture: SUPPLIED

Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday eased the country’s national lockdown by extending business hours and allowing intercity transport to resume, as the southern African country reopens its economy after the rate of Covid-19 infections slowed in the past two weeks.

Under the Level 2 lockdown announced on Tuesday, businesses will open from 8am to 7pm, with a curfew 10pm to 5am. Zimbabwe had been under a stringent Level 4 national lockdown with businesses operating from 8am to 3.30pm and a curfew from 6.30pm to 6am.

Presenting the new measures at a briefing to journalists in Harare, Mnangagwa said the country has witnessed a marked decline in Covid-19 cases in the past few weeks.

“Fellow Zimbabweans, the last two weeks have seen our nation record a further marked reduction in new Covid-19 cases from a weekly average of 2,564 in the second week of August 2021 to the current 1,065. In addition, the weekly average of deaths has decreased from 140 to 76,” he said.

Travellers are still required to provide proof of having tested negative for Covid-19, 48 hours before coming into the country. Bars and nightclubs remain closed while public gatherings are limited to 100 people.

Zimbabwe had been under Level 4 lockdown since July, when cases spiked as a result of the Delta variant, which led to thousands of deaths. At the peak of the Delta variant, the country recorded more than 100 Covid-19 deaths daily.

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