The government has dismissed reports claiming that Kwekwe City has been placed under lockdown to curb the spread of the Indian coronavirus (B.1.617) variant in the city.
A 15-point letter emerged last night suggesting that the government had ordered the closure of shops and bars including prohibiting the movement of people.
Midlands Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister, Larry Mavima who is also the provincial COVID-19 taskforce chair, said the circulating report was fake.
Kwekwe Mayor, Councillor Angeline Kasipo said she has been inundated with calls from members of the public asking about the “lockdown” announcement.
However, the purported fake letter was confirmed by presidential spokesperson George Charamba who said:
Below is the letter purported to have originated from the office of the Health and Childcare Ministry:
KWEKWE DISTRICT COVID-19 SITUATION AND WAY FORWARD.
Kwekwe District is experiencing focused COVID-19 outbreak. The Minister of Health and Child Care issued a statement informing the nation that we now have a new variant for COVID-19 here in Zimbabwe, THE INDIAN VARIANT B.1.617. is now here in Kwekwe.
Efforts by the joint meeting of the Kwekwe District COVID-19 Taskforce and The District Rapid Response Team with advice from MOHCC head office, have resolved to effect the following measures with effect from tomorrow 21/05/2021.
- The District has to go into lockdown for 3 weeks with effective curfew running from 7 pm to 6 am for a total period of 3 weeks.
- No visitors to all boarding schools and all day schools to observe strict COVID-19 school protocols.
- Opening business hours to run from 8 am to 5 pm.
- Close all bars, drinking places beer halls and bottle stores.
- All gatherings (weddings, church services and all other public and private groupings) are banned.
- ALL FUNERALS must be supervised by health workers and should not gather more than 30 people.
- Risk communication activities must be upped since we need our communities to be aware of what is going on if at all they are comply with COVID19 regulations. Community health workers are to come on board as well.
- ZUPCO buses to be engaged so that they avoid bus overloading but must maintain social distancing all the time. The Taskforce chair to ensure this point is effected
- Scale down all peoples’ markets operations and ensure adherence to COVID-19 regulations religiously. Social distancing, handwashing, and sanitization to be prioritised.
- Starting from tomorrow the 21 of May 2021, all contacts will be tested for COVID-19 i.e. whether they display any signs and symptoms or not.
- On discharge of all those who will have tested positive to the COVID-19 virus and have completed 10 days, they will be mandated to be tested again with PCR before they are finally discharged.
- All health workers (EHTS. Nurses, Lab Staff, and where applicable Community Based Health Workers) who are involved in contact tracing, active case finding, treatment, Lab Tests and risk communication must be tested for COVID-19.
- Kwekwe General Hospital to avail manpower (Doctors and Nurses) to help with sample collection.
- The district is activating all its quarantine isolation and treatment centres with immediate effect and these include Bell Medical Centre in Redcliff, Kwekwe General Hospital and Kwekwe City Isolation Disease Hospital (IDH)
- Adjustments to the above list shall be subject to review as and when its necessary to do so in order to achieve the desired goals and objectives.
- ZRP to take charge in effecting the above points of action
Compiled by: The National, District Taskforce, The District Rapid Response Team. KWEKWE.