The highly fatal and fast-spreading South African coronavirus variant now constitutes 61% of new infections in Zimbabwe, the government has said.
In a post-Cabinet press statement on Tuesday, the government said security services will further intensify movement restrictions across the country to enforce compliance with lockdown measures. The statement read:
Cabinet wishes to inform the nation that results of the genomic sequencing recently conducted indicate that the type of COVID-19 virus that the nation had in 2020 has receded.
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There is now a 61% dominance of the new South African variant of the COVID-19 virus, which spreads faster and has a higher fatality rate.
Accordingly, the nation now needs to be more vigilant than before and adhere to COVID-19 prevention and control measures.
Security personnel have, therefore, been directed to intensify monitoring and enforcement in order to enhance compliance.
Meanwhile, the government said the vaccination of critical staff using the Sinopharm vaccine donated by China would commence this Thursday and would be voluntary and free.
The inoculation will be done in phases, with the first phase aimed at vaccinating 22% of the population. The Cabinet statement further read:
The aim of the first phase is to vaccinate 22%, 18,4% under phase two; and 18,4% under phase three, thereby yielding a vaccinated population of nearly 60% of the population.