Government officials in Kwekwe say residents should not panic following a widely circulating message claiming the city has been placed under a three-week lockdown.
The message, purported to have originated from the Kwekwe District COVID-19 Taskforce and The District Rapid Response Team, claimed the lockdown measures were in response to the detection of the deadly Indian B.1.617 coronavirus variant in the district.
Kwekwe District COVID-19 taskforce co-chairperson Vitalis Kwashira told NewZimbabwe.com the lockdown message, circulating on social media platforms, was false. He said:
That is a fake report which is circulating on social media. There is no lockdown in Kwekwe district. We are going about our business as usual.
Kwekwe mayor Angeline Kasipo (MDC Alliance), urged residents not to panic but reiterated the importance of following COVID-19 World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines. Said Kasipo:
I have spoken to the DDC (district development coordinator) and he told me it’s untrue that Kwekwe is under new lockdown restrictions. Therefore, residents must not panic.
We want people to be careful. We don’t know if we have a third wave or the Indian variant or anything. We are awaiting the results which we sent to Kwekwe. People must, therefore, not speculate.
There is no need to panic, but we need to take full precautions. For the past two months, we have been recording zero cases, people must continue observing WHO guidelines.
We are also encouraging people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Kwekwe has been on the edge following the death of residents chairperson Robson Kadenhe (76) to COVID-19 complications last week.
He tested positive after returning from India and died a few days later.
On Wednesday, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who is also the Health and Childcare Minister confirmed the outbreak of the Indian coronavirus variant in the Midlands city.