The Zimbabwean government has announced plans to beef up vaccination as one of its measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic following the discovery of the omicron variant.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who made the announcement in a televised address on state TV, urged the unvaccinated population to get vaccinated not just for their safety but for the safety of others around them.
Mnangagwa in his address, said all travellers entering Zimbabwe, including returning residents, will have to undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine.
With immediate effect, all returning residents and visitors will also undergo PCR testing and quarantine at their costs while curfew hours would now be from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.
The president added that consumption of alcohol at bottle stores would temporarily be banned while nightclubs and bars will admit vaccinated clients only.
COVID-19 related funerals will be supervised by health authorities while restaurants are mandated to close at 7 p.m.
On Tuesday, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa reassured citizens of the government’s efforts to strengthen control measures to avoid a fourth wave of the virus as new cases of the omicron variant was detected in the country.
Following the discovery of the new variant in South Africa, Zimbabwe is among several southern African countries that have already been hit with travel bans by several Western countries.
To date, Zimbabwe has recorded 134,625 cases, with 4,707 deaths while a total of 3,794,549 people in the country have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 2,816,543 their second dose.