The chief coordinator for the National Response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Office of the President and Cabinet Agnes Mahomva said that Zimbabwe may return to a hard lockdown if coronavirus cases surged as happened in July.
Mahomva said though such a drastic move was not in the pipeline, it was a real possibility after the number of COVID-19 cases has been creeping north since the government reopened more sectors of the economy in Spring.
New coronavirus cases had fallen to less than 10 per day but the numbers have been increasing over the past few weeks, with 33 new cases and 2 deaths recorded on Sunday (yesterday). Said Mahomva:
Whether directly or indirectly as a result of these new relaxations, the infection rate has started to go up.
While the growth may be marginal at this stage, it has the potential to spike upwards in a manner which might not be foreseen.
It may be that more enforcement of existing measures is required as well, but certainly, should there be a sudden spike like that experienced around July 2020, then there might be a need for more stringent measures such as those which are being re-introduced in Europe and the Americas.
Mahomva was responding to a challenge against the suspension of by-elections by Vice-President and Health Minister Constantino Chiwenga.
The Election Resource Centre (ERC), the Women’s Academy for Leadership (Walpe) and six other applicants have gone to court to challenge the Health Minister’s order suspending elections.