ED closes borders. . . bans travelling, night clubs, gyms

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PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa last night closed the country’s borders to human traffic and banned all recreational activities as his government intensifies the fight against the spread of coronavirus.
This comes after media personality and son of prominent businessman James Makamba, Zororo, died yesterday at Wilkins Hospital of the lethal virus. He was one of the two confirmed cases of the pandemic in the country.
Speaking to journalists at State House, Mnangagwa said while the borders would remain open to essential traffic, both in the “interest of the economy and that of corresponding economies of the region”, the government had decided to ban nonessential travel and traffic, both inbound and outbound, except for the movement of cargo.
“To keep pace with the fast-changing national and global situation, the government has decided to close all our borders to human traffic, but this will not affect returning residents,” he said.
“All returning residents will be subjected to strict screening procedures, including rigorous enforcement of the 21-day self-quarantine, which must not be breached for whatever reason.
“Certificates of Covid-19 fitness, especially from countries with high incidence of infections, would greatly assist all of us in controlling the pandemic both inside our country and globally.”
He banned entertainment and recreational activities with immediate effect, introduced  restrictions on hospital visits, and reduced public gatherings to 50 from 100 people.
“Government has put a blanket ban on gatherings around night clubs, bars, beer halls, movie houses, swimming pools, gymnasium and other sporting activities, until further notice, and with immediate effect visits to hospital and clinics will be reduced to one visit per day, and even then involving one relative per patient,” he said.
“From now until further notice, the government discourages unnecessary travel in and around the country.
“Additionally, unnecessary movements beyond homes, including social visits to relatives and friends, should be avoided.”
Mnangagwa encouraged business associations and employers to explore “creative ways” of reducing human concentration at work stations with nonessential staff or even essential staff whose services can be efficiently rendered from home, being encouraged to take turns to work or serve from home.
Public transport facilities and the informal sector, like Mbare Musika market, would remain open, while health personnel, security and volunteer workers will be deployed in the markets to enhance screening services.
“All transport operators are encouraged to comply with public health measures which the government will be announcing shortly, all for the safety of commuters.
“These include screening on points of embarkations, and occasional de-contamination operations targeting public vehicles and depots,” the president said.
Mnangagwa added that as the nation grapples with water challenges, the District Development Fund would be deployed to drill more boreholes in areas that do not have access to water as the fight against coronavirus intensifies.
“We have informed the minister of Health to give us his (coronavirus) bill to enable us to purchase the needed material for all designated hospitals,” he said.

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