The ever boisterous city of Harare has become a ghost town after the government enforced a national lockdown which commenced at midnight.
On Friday, President Emmerson Mnangagwa decreed that the nation would go on a 21 days lockdown in a bid to try and contain the Coronavirus.
Pictures from Harare CBD show that all shops are closed and there is minimum road traffic.
Presidential Spokesperson George Charamba said the lockdown period was subject to review by the President.
“The President has already hinted the 21-day lockdown is subject to review depending on how matters pan out. It is critical that LOCKDOWN does not become SHUTDOWN of our fragile, slowly recovering Economy. Govt has not interfered with the running of productive enterprises, leaving entrepreneurs to decide how best to comply with set guidelines while keeping wheels of industry and commerce turning.” Charamba said.
Meanwhile, Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals has rubbished social media reports that two of its nurses had died after succumbing to Covid-19.
In a tweet, Parirenyatwa said it only had one suspected Covid-19 case amongst its staff members and the staffer in question had already tested negative for the virus.
“We have had only one suspected case among our staff members, a student nurse who went for testing and her results were negative. It’s a hoax that 2 of our nurses tested positive and died. Shame on liars”, they said in comments posted on their official Twitter handle.
The government has promulgated a statutory Instrument which criminalizes fake news and false information during the lockdown.
The offender could face up to 20 years imprisonment.