Zimbabwe gov't starts partial lockdown amid COVID-19 pandemic

Source: Xinhua| 2020-03-27 23:45:39|Editor: yan
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HARARE, March 27 (Xinhua) -- The Zimbabwe government began partial lockdown on Friday as part of wider measures announced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

The country has registered five confirmed COVID-19 cases, with one death.

In response, the government has announced a raft of precautionary measures to deal with the pandemic, including rotational work shifts for civil servants, which came into effect on Friday, state news agency New Ziana reported.

Under the partial lockdown, only a third of workers would turn up for work from now on, and rotate after every fortnight.

This is meant to decongest work environments in government offices to limit possible transmission of COVID-19.

Zimbabwe's civil service has a workforce of some 300,000 and most of these work in office setups with high human contact.

According to the government plan, some of the "off-duty" staff would be working from home but this excludes health workers, whose services are in critical demand because of the pandemic.

Private businesses have also followed the government lead and have scaled down operations across the country as part of precautions against COVID-19.

Other measures taken by the country to combat the pandemic include shutting down schools and borders to non-essential travelers.

The government had also declared the pandemic a national disaster to allow it to mobilize resources.