Zimbabwe Extends Covid-19 National Lockdown by 14 Days

(Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwe will extend a national lockdown to limit the spread of the coronavirus pandemic by 14 days and set aside ZW$18 billion ($720 million) to support the economy, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said in a televised address on Friday.

While some restrictions may be relaxed to restart certain sectors of the economy, the lockdown that started on March 30 will now stay in place until the middle of this month, Mnangagwa said. Everyone must wear a mask in public places and whil companies may resume operations from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m., schools will no longer reopen on May 5.

The funds that were set aside will support small and to medium businesses, enterprises including informal traders, during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Small and informal businesses have “ borne the worst brunt of the lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic,” Mnangagwa said. “We would rather err on the side of caution and not on the side of recklessness.”

Zimbabwe has recorded 40 confirmed cases, including five recoveries and four deaths. A total of 8,314 tests have been conducted according to Health Minister, Obediah Moyo.

The government will also introduce a food grant of ZW$2.4 billion for the rest of the year. As much as ZW$500 million will be set aside to support the tourism sector, ZW$1 billion for mining and ZW$3 billion for manufacturing, Mnangagwa said.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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