BILL WATCH 4/2021
[31st January 2021]
Public Health Lock-down Order : Extension of Lock-down
The current tight lock-down has been extended until the 15th February.
The lock-down was to have been lifted or relaxed at the beginning of February, but in a statement broadcast last Friday the Acting President, who is also exercising the functions of Minister of Health and Child Care, announced the decision to extend it. He said:
1. Fellow Zimbabweans, we continue to see a high number of COVID-19 cases and, sadly, deaths. In the last week our new cases have been averaging about 300 per day, with deaths averaging 20 per day. Cumulative cases as at 1st January 2021 were 14 084 and deaths were 369. As at 28th January 2021 cumulative cases reached 32 646 with deaths breaching the thousand mark to give us 1 160. The situation is clearly worrisome. ...
5. The level 4 National Lockdown that came into force on the 5th of January 2021 has stabilized our situation. In relative terms and since the lockdown, the number of infections have been decreasing substantially. Equally, our recovery rate has gone up from an all-time low of fifty-four percent to the current one which is seventy-five percent. Even though the numbers we are losing to the pandemic are falling, we bemoan the fact that Zimbabweans are dying at all. Any death is one death too many. Still, we need to stay the course by upping our vigilance. The war is not yet won.
6. It is in light of this that His Excellency the President … has decided to extend the level 4 National Lockdown by another two weeks to the 15th of February 2021.
7. The President fully appreciates the difficulties which come with this extension. Livelihoods are being disrupted yet we must save lives and our nation. We must not lose the momentum, which means:
- We must mask up
- Maintain social distance
- Stay at home, and
- Get tested and, if positive, self-isolate.
I thank you all for your co-operation. Together we will overcome. God bless Zimbabwe.
It should be noted that the extension does not need a statutory instrument to give it legal effect. The SI that imposed the current lock-down specified no time-limit for it, so it remains in force until a further SI is published bringing it to an end. And for the same reason, if by the 15th February the Government decides the lock-down needs to remain in force for a while longer, no SI will be needed to give effect to that decision.