Zimbabwean president announces new steps to curb new Covid-19 variant

Zimbabwe: Following the detection of a new variant in neighbouring South Africa, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has promised a slew of new and improved measures to prevent the spread of the Covid-19.

After the Omicron variant was detected in some of Zimbabwe's neighbours, Mnangagwa stated in a televised address to the country on Tuesday that Zimbabwe now faces a serious risk of a fourth wave of the pandemic. "We now confront a new, increased risk," Mnangagwa said, "which adds to the weight we already bear from known varieties with which we've been dealing since the onset of the epidemic."

According to sources, all returning residents and tourists will be subjected to PCR testing and quarantine at their own expense, curfew hours have been doubled from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., no alcohol will be consumed at bottle stores, and only vaccinated clients will be admitted to night clubs and bars. Funerals involving Covid will be supervised by health officials, and restaurants will now close at 7 p.m. Mnangagwa also asked people who haven't been vaccinated to do so.

"Let me reiterate that the government expects individuals and communities to continue to follow all recommended prevention measures, including social distancing, proper face mask use, avoiding closed spaces, hand washing with soap and under running water, sanitising, and, of course, getting fully vaccinated," Mnangagwa said.

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