- ZITF and Independence celebrations suspended
- Small borders to be closed
- Foreign travellers to continue coming in
Harare- Zimbabwe has finally joined other countries in banning mass and public gatherings in a bid to minimise the spread of the coronavirus which has hit most countries globally.
Speaking at a state of the nation address in the capital today, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has declared the coronavirus a national disaster despite the country having no confirmed cases of the virus.
This follows the declaration by the World Health Organisation of the virus, code named Covid-19 as a global pandemic.
Government has postponed one of the country’s biggest trade conferences, the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) as this attracts people from around the globe which puts attendants at the risk of spreading the virus.
In addition, this year’s Independence celebrations have also been postponed as Bulawayo, which was supposed to host this year’s main celebrations had stated that it has no capacity to deal with the corona virus in the event that attendees are affected.
Other measures to be implemented in order to deal with the virus include the banning of activities that have more than a hundred people, closing small border posts and the identification of more isolation and treatment centres.
Schools are however to remain open, a move that most people think is not a good one as it can further the spread of the virus.
The government has also declared that major ports of entry will remain open with what government calls rigorous screening being exercised.
Questions then arise on whether the government is doing enough to deal with the threat of this deadly virus and what are other countries doing.
With over 180 000 cases having been recorded to date, major global companies and countries have suspended operations and movement across borders so as to protect citizens and workers from contracting the virus.
Tech giant, Microsoft has closed down all its 82 retail locations as some companies have done, with only its online store remaining open. This has been not only to protect the company’s employees but because most customers have turned to online shopping as social distancing is being largely being encouraged.
Hong Kong is set to quarantine all arrivals to the city from Thursday and expects to expand school closures beyond April.
The European Union executive is proposing shutting down the bloc’s external borders for 30 days while the Philippines has suspended stock market operations indefinitely amid a lockdown.
Nigeria’s central bank is set to create a N50 billion fund in order to deal with the possible impact of the virus on the country’s economy.
Large economies like the US have suspended travel to hard hit countries, while schools and colleges have been shut down until they have the virus under control.
Other countries on the African continent and beyond have totally banned travellers from high risk countries and their own citizens have also cut down on their own travel.
Zimbabwe however has said travellers are discouraged from visiting the country without putting in place actual bans to prevent the coming of the disease.
A tourist who had visited the Victoria Falls has tested positive of the virus upon returning to his country despite having been tested negative in Zimbabwe.
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