News Alerts

06 May 2020 | 09:48 AM UTC

Zimbabwe: Face masks mandatory in public spaces May 4 /update 7

Zimbabwe News Alert

Face masks mandatory in public spaces from May 4; follow authority directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 5/6/2020, 12:00 AM until 6/2/2020, 11:59 PM (Africa/Harare). COUNTRY/REGION Zimbabwe

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Event

The Zimbabwean government announced that wearing a face mask in public spaces will be mandatory as of Monday, May 4, to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Police forces have been instructed to arrest anyone found violating the measure.

An ongoing lockdown remains in place until Friday, May 15. Under the lockdown measures, citizens are expected to stay at home, except to seek medical assistance, buy food, and receive other essential services. All public transportation services, except Zupco, remain suspended except for employees in essential services. Security personnel have been deployed across the country to ensure the public comply with the lockdown measures. The manufacturing, mining, public, and health sectors are exempt from the aforementioned measures.

Zimbabwe's borders remain closed to foreign nationals and public gatherings of more than 50 people continue to be prohibited.

As of Wednesday, May 6, there are 34 confirmed COVID-19 cases and four associated fatalities in the country. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

 

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