Zimbabwe has finally closed its borders in response to the deadly coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic. President Emmerson Mnangagwa made the announcement when he addressed the nation on Monday night on the further measures that his government was putting in place to fight the spread of the coronavirus which has wreaked havoc across the world.
Zimbabwe has recorded two cases of the deadly coronavirus and the disease has already claimed the life of young broadcaster Zororo Makamba. Zororo who is the son of prominent businessman James Makamba died on Monday.
Last week, Mnangagwa initially dismissed the idea of closing down the country’s borders arguing that no other country has closed its borders to Zimbabwe. However, President Emmerson Mnangagwa made an about-turn today, announcing that the country’s borders would be closed to everyone except to returning residents. Mnangagwa also said that the returning residents will have to undergo mandatory quarantine. However, cargo movement will continue unabated.
Quite astonishingly, however, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government refused to close down the informal market places such as Siyaso, Mbare Musika and Mupedzanhamo Flea Market. The President, however, urged citizens to restrict their movements to these locations.
President Mnangagwa also said that the government is discouraging all unnecessary travel within the country saying that unnecessary visits to friends and relatives should be minimized.
The president also announced a ban on all beerhalls with immediate effect. The ban also applies to bars, gymnasiums, swimming pools, and movie houses where people congregate for entertainment,
The President encouraged businesses and employers to come up with measures to limit the number of people who came to the workplace. President Mnangagwa said that all non-essential staff and where possible essential staff should be encouraged to take turns or to work from home.