ADDRESS TO THE NATION BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT, DR. E. D MNANGAGWA, ON THE EXTENSION OF COVID-19 MEASURES, STATE HOUSE, 31st DECEMBER, 2021.
My Fellow Zimbabweans,
The New Year, 2022, begins under the persistent shadow of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The week closing the year has seen us record a total of 10 384 cases of infections and 142 deaths.
These sombre statistics translate to an average 1 483 new cases of infections, and 20 deaths each day.
The last three days alone were especially dire, with some 2 000 new infection cases, and 30 deaths recorded daily.
Clearly, our Nation is in the grip of an OMICRON VARIANT-induced FOURTH WAVE, whose curve we continue to struggle to flatten before the curve begins to tend down.
In view of this gloomy picture, the Government has decided on the following measures which take immediate effect:
- The current Level Two National Lockdown is extended by a further two weeks, after which an appropriate review will be announced, guided by a scientific appreciation of the obtaining situation;
- With the exception of Examination Classes which resume classes as announced by the responsible Ministry, the general school calendar is hereby delayed until further notice. Examination Classes exempt from this delay are however expected to strictly comply with preventive public health measures;
- While Business reopens and resumes as normal, employers are expected to put in train all the essential preventive public health measures, including encouraging part of their workforce to operate from home, and through virtual platforms as practicable;
- As before and always, face masks must be worn by all our citizens in public places, spaces, gatherings and when patronising public transport;
- Those of our citizens who are yet to get vaccinated, should, without delay, proceed to get vaccinated at designated vaccination centres. Provincial task-force teams should be on hand to motivate and intensify the vaccination process;
- While Government finalises measures to introduce and roll out a nationwide booster vaccination programme, we are all expected to adhere fully to World Health Organisation, WHO, measures on public health, including and especially the washing of hands under running water; sanitising; social distancing; to the extent possible avoiding crowds and unnecessary gatherings and, wearing face masks at all times and in all public situations.
With strict adherence to these measures and precautions, our Nation should be able to ride through this Fourth Wave so we all return to, and resume, our normal, productive lives that we all yearn for. The call is to us all, the responsibility a shared, national one.
I wish you a happy but careful crossover into the New Year which must deliver better health prospects for us all.
Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2022 Zimbabwe.
I thank you.