After a painful 21 days and a further 14 day extension to the current lockdown, president Emmerson Mnangagwa has hinted at further extending the national lockdown as cases rise in the country. Zimbabwe imposed a 3-week national lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) on March 30. This was then extended by a further two weeks which will see the lockdown ending over the weekend.
However, the President has since hinted that the extension may be further extended after highlighting that he was for “caution over carelessness.” Mnangagwa said that he would prefer to save lives because businesses and the economy could always be resuscitated at a later stage while it is impossible to do the same with lives lost. Speaking to a group of business leaders and donors at State House on Wednesday, Mnangagwa said, “I was thinking what happens after this one (extended lockdown) ends. I am still working on that, but the primary objective is to give priority to saving lives. I have been studying events worldwide, how governments are reacting to this. Some border on the line of carelessness, some border on the line of over-cautiousness. So, we must find a way where, in my view, we err on the side of caution rather than err on the side of recklessness.” Mnangagwa emphasized that he would prioritise health over the economy and would be guided by data on the cases. “In relation to our own situation, the number (of confirmed cases) is going up, so we have to take more measures until we reach a stage where there are more recoveries than positive cases are coming up. Then we’ll know we are succeeding,” “It doesn’t matter, because as long as people are alive you can have conferences and discuss ‘how do we resuscitate the economy’, but I have never seen a conference where people are discussing how to resuscitate the dead.”
At the time publishing, Zimbabwe has recorded 40 confirmed cases of the coronavirus which have resulted in four deaths. Wednesday saw the country recording 8 new cases, the highest figure recorded in a single day in Zimbabwe.The decision on whether the lockdown will be extended or not will likely be communicated after the President returns from Mozambique where he flew for a meeting with his counterpart Felipe Nyusi.
Most countries have put their citizens under lockdown to try and contain the spread of the virus. Not people have however expressed their dissapointment at the failure by government to provide food and basic amenities during this period just like in other countries where grocery hampers and money is being disbursed to people.