Zimbabwe’s senior doctors on Wednesday criticised the government for extending the Level 4 COVID-19 lockdown, calling it “unscientific” in the face of declining infections and hospitalisations.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa, in a statement on Tuesday night, announced that the lockdown has been extended by a further two weeks.
Mutsvangwa said the decision was “necessitated by the realisation that although there has been a notable decrease in the number of COVID-19 infections and deaths, more efforts are required to contain the third wave of the pandemic.”
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The Zimbabwe Senior Hospital Doctors Association, in a short statement on Wednesday, criticised the latest extension. The doctors said:
Data from the ministry of health clearly shows Covid-19 infections well below the resurgence threshold.
Most Covid hospitals countrywide have significantly reduced admissions. Lockdown has achieved its aims.
If we are basing decisions on stats and science, what’s the justification for the extension?
On Tuesday, the Ministry of Health and Childcare reported 319 new COVID-19 infections and 27 deaths. It also said the test positivity rate had fallen to just 4.4 per cent.
The lockdown has also hit businesses, with opening hours restricted between 8 AM and 3.30 PM.
Bars remain closed, sporting events are banned and churches have only just been allowed to re-open but only for the fully vaccinated.
A dusk to dawn curfew is also being enforced by the police.