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16 Jul 2020 | 02:28 AM UTC

Zimbabwe: Authorities defer reopening of schools and halt economic reopening July 14 /update 11

Zimbabwe News Alert

Authorities defer reopening of schools and halt reopening of the economy following a spike in COVID-19 cases on July 14; continue to follow official directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 7/16/2020, 12:00 AM until 7/30/2020, 11:59 PM (Africa/Harare). COUNTRY/REGION Zimbabwe

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On Tuesday, July 14, authorities announced that following an uptick in locally transmitted coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases, the reopening of the economy will be further halted and the resumption of schools will also be deterred until further notice. According to media sources, localized lockdowns in hotspot areas are likely to be introduced with further details expected in the near term. Schools formerly scheduled to reopen on July 28 will remain closed, though according to media sources, mid-year public examinations which began last month will continue as scheduled. Inter-city public transport will resume but for essential travel only. Additional restrictions may be announced in the near and medium term.

Zimbabwe's borders remain closed to all human traffic, except for returning Zimbabwean nationals and permit holders. Its borders remain open for cargo. All arrivals will be subject to strict screening procedures and will be required to self-quarantine for 21 days.

As of Thursday, July 16, there have been 1089 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 20 associated fatalities in Zimbabwe. 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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