President Mnangagwa expected to announce new ordinances to balance the reopening of the economy and mitigating against further spread of Covid-19. The current level four lockdown ends tomorrow.
Since the current lockdown measures announced on February 15, the country has recorded a marked decrease in deaths and confirmed coronavirus cases. However observers warn that the country cannot afford to lower its guard. This is due to the fact that as a third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic remains a possibility.
Deputy Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet Mr George Charamba yesterday said President Mnangagwa will update the nation before the expiry of the lockdown.
“He is very conscious about that,” Mr Charamba, who is also Presidential spokesperson, said.
On Friday, the Ministry of Health and Child Care unveiled new guidelines authorising ministers and heads of local authorities to give exemptions, where necessary, for the reopening of departments under their ambit.
The guidelines, which are contained in Statutory Instrument 49 of 2021, are an amendment to Statutory Instrument 200 of 2020.
Part of SI 49 reads: “. . . (d) every Government establishment, and every local authority, shall be closed except to the extent directed by — (i) the responsible head of the Ministry or head of that establishment; or (ii) the mayor or chairperson or chief executive officer of the local authority concerned”.
Explaining SI 49, Secretary for Justice, Parliamentary and Legal Affairs Mrs Virginia Mabhiza gave a statement. She said the nation remains bound by the lockdown regulations. However ministries and local authorities now have administrative powers to give exemptions.