Zim now under siege from South African variant of Covid-19 virus
By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
There is now a 61% dominance of the new South African variant of the Covid-19 virus which spreads faster and has a higher fatality rate, says Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa.
Speaking during a post cabinet briefing in Harare on Tuesday, Mutsvangwa said results of the genomic sequencing recently conducted indicated that the type of Covid-19 virus that the nation had in 2020 has receded while the South African type is dominating in Zimbabwe.
Mutsvangwa said the nation now needed to be more vigilant in adherence to Covid-19 regulations. She added that the country’s security personnel had been directed to “intensify monitoring and enforcement in order to enhance compliance.”
“Cabinet wishes to inform the nation that results of the genomic sequencing recently conducted indicate that the type of Covid-19 virus that the nation had in 2020 has receded.
“There is now a 61% dominance of the new South African variant of the Covid-19 virus which spreads faster and has a higher fatality rate,” Mutsvangwa said.
“Accordingly, the nation now needs to be more vigilant than before and adhere to Covid-19 prevention and control measures. Security personnel have therefore been directed to intensify monitoring and enforcement in order to enhance compliance.”
Mutsvangwa said the cabinet endorsed the decision made by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to extend the national lockdown by a further two weeks, ordering schools to remain closed and announcing new curfew hours from 8pm to 5:30 am while operating hours for businesses have been extended to 5pm.
“In view of the realisation that infection and death rates are still high despite a downward trend, cabinet endorsed His Excellency the President’s decision to extend the Level Four lockdown measures for a further two weeks,” she added.
On Monday morning Zimbabwe received the first consignment of 200 000 Covid-19 Sinopharm vaccines to fight the deadly coronavirus disease, thanks to the People’s Republic of China.
Vice President and Health Minister Constantino Chiwenga and Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Guo Shaochun received the doses that arrived aboard an Air Zimbabwe jet at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.
The country’s health care frontliners, ports of entry employees, school teachers are among the first groups of citizens set to receive the jabs. Nehanda Radio