HARARE – Vice president and Health minister, Constantino Chiwenga has released a statement confirming earlier reports that Kwekwe has been placed under lockdown.
“Following localized cases of Covid 19 that occurred in Kwekwe during the period 09/ 05/ 2021 to 21/ 05/ 2021, the Ministry of Health and Child Care would like to advise the nation that;
1. The Genomic sequencing done on the viral strain Kwekwe, detected the presence of B.1.617.2 strain. This is a sub-species of the strain that was first identified in India.
2. The last case was on 14 May 2021.
3. The Ministry immediately put up measures to control the spread of the disease in Kwekwe.
a) Case investigation and contact tracing
b) Health education
c) Disinfection of supermarkets, OK Mart, Amaveni Dumpsite, Pump Station, Kadenhe Home, Old Gokwe Road, Amaveni, Junk Yard pavement, National Test Seed pavements
d) Quarantine of positive cases and close contacts
e) Risk communication and community engagement
f) Community awareness and campaigns were intensified
g) Screening of school children that were contacts
Further measures being taken are:
i) Health Education continued.
ii) Local Lockdown of Kwekwe District for 2 Weeks Effective 21 May 2021.
“This entails Curfew running from 7pm to 6 am.
“No visitors to all boarding schools and all day schools to observe strict Covid-19 school protocols.
“Opening of business hours run from 8 am to 5 pm.
“All bars, drinking places beerhalls and bottle stores to be closed.
“All gatherings (weddings, church services and all other public and private groupings) are banned.
“All FUNERALS must be supervised by health personnel and should not gather more than 30 people.
“Travellers through Kwekwe are strongly being advised to spend as little time as possible in Kwekwe during the next two weeks,” said Chiwenga in a statement.
Midlands Provincial Affairs minister, Larry Mavima, who is also the provincial Covid-19 taskforce chair, had dismissed earlier media reports as fake.
Adding to the government communications confusion, Kwekwe Mayor, Councillor Angeline Kasipo had also professed ignorance of the lockdown during an interview with the state-controlled Chronicle.