Zimbabwe maintains strictest lockdown despite decrease in COVID-19 infections

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HARARE, July 28 (Xinhua) -- The Zimbabwean government said on Tuesday it will maintain the strictest level-four lockdown despite a 49.5-percent decrease in new COVID-19 infections over the past week.

The number of weekly infections declined to 14,275 from 21,346, and it reflects the high efficiency of the country's efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said during a post-cabinet media briefing.

As it is necessary to strengthen efforts to better control the third wave of the pandemic, "the level four lockdown measures remain in force," Mutsvangwa added.

Among other measures, the lockdown prohibits inter-city travel and public gatherings, shuts down bars, limits funeral gatherings to 30 people, and reduces staff numbers in workstations.

As of Tuesday night, more than 1.5 million people in Zimbabwe have received the first jab and nearly 700,000 people have got their second dose, far from enough to achieve its vaccination goal of immunizing at least 10 million of the country's approximately 14 million people by the end of this year.

According to Mutsvangwa, two ports in the resort town of Victoria Falls, located on the border with Zambia, will be reopened to tourists who are fully vaccinated, as the famous tourist city has achieved herd immunity.

So far, a total of 101,711 COVID-19 infections have been recorded in the country, including 70,496 recoveries and 3,280 deaths. Enditem

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