Zimbabwe shortens coronavirus curfew, extends business hours

ZIMBABWE has shortened an overnight curfew imposed to combat the coronavirus pandemic and extended business hours despite rising cases, the government said after a weekly cabinet meeting.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa last month announced a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew, but Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said this had left commuters stranded without transport.

The overnight curfew will now start at 8 p.m., while business hours will be extended to 4.30 p.m from 3 p.m.

Zimbabwe has recorded 5,308 cases and 135 deaths.

Officials fear a wholesale removal of restrictions on movement would see a spike in infections and overwhelm a health sector that is collapsing due to strikes by workers and lack of medicines and protective clothing.

The government banned public taxis in March, but the state bus service is failing to cope, forcing commuters to queue well beyond curfew hours. – Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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