May 21, 2021 - Health

Zimbabwe to impose lockdown in central city after detecting COVID variant

Picture of a woman in Zimbabwe receiving the vaccine
A woman gets her first jab of the Covaxin vaccine at a hospital in Zimbabwe. Photo: Tafadzwa Ufumeli/Getty Images

Zimbabwe's health ministry announced a two-week lockdown on the central city of Kwekwe after detecting the coronavirus variant dominant in India.

The state of play: The lockdown will start Friday and a curfew from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. will be strictly imposed.

  • Bars will shutter and public gatherings — including weddings and church services — are banned. Funerals can proceed, but will be supervised by health officials.
  • Businesses can operate between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • Visitors will not be allowed in schools.
  • "Travelers through Kwekwe are strongly being advised to spend as little time as possible in Kwekwe during the next two weeks," the ministry's statement says.

Zimbabwe had stopped imposing restrictions after infection rates went down following "a devastating resurgence in December and January," AP reports.

By the numbers: The country has reported a total of 38,635 coronavirus cases and almost 1,600 deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

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