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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.

Go deeper

23 hours ago - Health

Most Kentucky school boards vote in favor of mask mandates

Photo: Paul Bersebach, MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

A majority of school boards in Kentucky voted in favor of mask mandates, according to the Kentucky School Board Association.

Why it matters: A week ago, Kentucky's Republican-dominated legislature voted to revoke a statewide mask mandate in public schools that was meant to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The decision on masks would instead be left up to individual districts.

Sep 17, 2021 - Health

FDA advisory panel recommends Pfizer boosters for those 65 and older

A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Key Biscayne Community Center on Aug. 24, 2021. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday overwhelmingly voted against recommending Pfizer vaccine booster shots for younger Americans, but unanimously recommended approving the third shots for individuals 65 and older, as well as those at high-risk of severe COVID-19.

Why it matters: While the votes are non-binding, and the FDA must still make a final decision, Friday's move pours cold water on the Biden administration's plan to begin administering boosters to most individuals who received the Pfizer vaccine later this month.

Hochul orders release of 191 Rikers Island inmates

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) ordered the release of 191 inmates from Rikers Island on Friday, and announced an agreement that could move up to 200 more to state prisons.

Why it matters: COVID has deepened a crisis at the prison, which had years of neglect and dysfunction prior to the pandemic.