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17 May 2020 | 09:01 AM UTC

Zimbabwe: Authorities indefinitely extend COVID-19 lockdown measures May 16 /update 8

Zimbabwe News Alert

President Emmerson Mnangagwa extends nationwide COVID-19 lockdown measures indefinitely on May 16; follow authority directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 5/17/2020, 12:00 AM until 6/17/2020, 11:59 PM (Africa/Harare). COUNTRY/REGION Zimbabwe

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President Emmerson Mnangagwa addressed the nation on Saturday, May 16, to announce that the lockdown measures put in place to control the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) will be extended indefinitely. The country will remain under Level 2 lockdown, implemented on Thursday, March 30, and the government will assess the situation at two-week intervals. Alongside the extension, Mnangagwa did announce some slight relaxation of measures, including the extension of shop opening hours to between 08:00 to 16:30 (local time), from 09:00 to 15:00 previously. Most other measures remain in place.

Under the lockdown measures, citizens are expected to stay at home, except to seek medical assistance, buy food, and receive other essential services. Wearing a face mask in public spaces is mandatory. 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 Sunday, May 17, there have been 44 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.


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.


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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