HARARE, (The Southern African Times) – Zimbabwe will extend Level 4 lockdown by another two weeks, aiming to inoculate 1 million more people, President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced Tuesday.
The government will ramp up its vaccination program during the extended lockdown period after the country last week received a batch of Sinovac vaccines that it had purchased from China, said the president.
The nation is grappling with a spike in new infections and deaths as the more transmissible Delta variant spreads locally. Mnangagwa said approximately 80 percent of new cases in Zimbabwe are of the Delta variant.
“The plan to maintain the current Level 4 lockdown will make it possible for the immediate acceleration of the vaccination program throughout the country,” he said.
Zimbabwe aims to inoculate 10 million people by year-end to achieve herd immunity. Less than a million people have been fully vaccinated so far.
Mnangagwa urged people to continue observing lockdown measures and also called for strict enforcement of curbs on inter-city travel, saying offenders will be punished severely.
The southern African nation has recorded 70,426 COVID-19 cases with 46,932 recoveries and 2,236 deaths as of Monday.