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President Mnangagwa’s address to the nation in response to OMICRON threat

President Emmerson Mnangagwa

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Good Evening my Fellow Countrymen and women!

I address you tonight in response to credible, scientific reports of a new strain of Covid-19 virus which has been detected and reported in our SADC regional neighbourhood. I also engage you tonight against the backdrop of the comprehensive measures we have adopted as a Nation in response to the continuing threat of the Covid-19 global pandemic.

Worldwide, the pandemic shows little signs of abetting, with latest global trends and figures pointing to yet another Wave the Fourth Wave in our case. By yesterday, Monday, over 260 million cumulative cases of infections had been reported worldwide. Grimly, over 5 million souls have perished globally since the outbreak of the pandemic in 2019.

As of yesterday, our Nation, Zimbabwe, had recorded a cumulative total of 133 991 cases of infection, and some 4 705 cumulative deaths since the onset of the pandemic in our country in early 2020. Our Nation has done a lot to contain the pandemic, aided and guided by the World Health Organisation, WHO, whose guidelines we continue to follow. We have recorded notable successes, certainly fared better than most in our region, on our African continent, and in the world. Today we are counted among leaders when it comes to best preventive and curative practices. Let me pay tribute to you all, my fellow Zimbabweans, for heeding all the measures we have announced and adopted for our survival as a Nation. This has reduced the toll which the pandemic has levied on our Nation.

The above good progress notwithstanding, lately we have witnessed creeping complacency in most communities. Some individuals and groups are simply lowering their guard when it comes to measures we have recommended for Covid-19 prevention. In all likelihood, this worrisome complacency is likely to get worse as the festive season approaches. Our Nation thus faces the grim risk of a fourth wave which must be avoided at all cost.

What raises our concern, and adds to our anxieties, is the outbreak of a new strain – OMICRON – detected and reported in neighbouring countries only a few days ago. We face a new, added risk, which compounds the burden we already face and shoulder from known variants we have been grappling since the outbreak of the pandemic.
It is in view of this new, ominous development that Government has decided on new, enhanced measures to strengthen our national response, and to protect our Nation from impact of a likely 4th Wave, which the new variant, OMICRON, will most certainly aggravate.

With immediate effect, the following measures will now apply:

  1. All returning residents and visitors have to undergo PCR testing, and will be quarantined, at own cost, for days recommended by WHO, even if they present & negative PCR test results from elsewhere;
  2. A daily Curfew, running from 9pm to 6am, will be imposed to limit movement and hence transmission. Only essential services categories announced in previous gazettes stand exempt;
  3. All shops will open for business from 0700 Hours and will close for business by 1900 Hours;
  4. Number and behaviour of all persons attending any gathering must observe and comply with W.H.O protocols i.e. masking, social distancing and sanitising.
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S. All Covid-19 related Funerals will strictly be supervised by Ministry of Health and Child Care Environmental Health Officers and Technicians;

  1. No liquor will be consumed at bottle stores, which consequently cease to be drinking premises until further notice;
  2. Night Clubs and bars will admit Vaccinated clients only.
  3. Restaurants are required to close at 1900 hours;
  4. All those eligible for Covid-19 vaccination are being called upon to get vaccinated.

Government will review these measures after 14 days.

Let me reiterate that Government requires individuals and communities to continue adhering to all the recommended

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