Zimbabwe orders 14-day travel quarantine to curb Omicron cases
All travelers entering Zimbabwe including returning residents will now have to undergo PCR testing and be quarantined at their own cost for a period of 14 days, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has announced.
The new measures were announced by Mnangagwa on Tuesday via the state broadcaster and are meant to halt the spread of the omicron variant which was first detected in South Africa on the 25th of November.
“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,” Mnangagwa said.
In addition Mnangagwa has announced a revised curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m, while access to nightclubs and bars will be restricted to vaccinated patrons and all Covid-19 related funerals will have to be supervised by Ministry of Health officials.
“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 with 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 the impact of a likely fourth wave, which the new variant, Omicron, will most certainly aggravate,” he said.
“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. All shops will open for business from 7am and will close for business by 7pm.
“Today we are counted among leaders when it comes to best preventive and curative practices. 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. The country has enough vaccines to go round, with vaccination being done at Government expense,” Mnangagwa said. Nehanda Radio