Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association treasurer Tapiwa Mungofa addressing the media at a press conference at Parirenyatwa Hospital where they vowed to boycott work unless the government provides adequate protective gear for medical staff to combat the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Harare.
Zimbabweans braced Sunday for a three-week lock-down to curb the spread of the coronavirus which has killed one person so far and infected six others, and for many, the lockdown means tough times ahead.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared a 21-day “total” lockdown from Monday that will curtail movement within the country, shut most shops and banks, and suspend flights in and out of Zimbabwe.
with independent sources saying the official number of infections is understated, the spread of COVID-19 could prove devastating for a country whose economy is crippled by hyperinflation and whose social health care systems are crumbling.
Poor rains have exacerbated the crisis, with half of the 15-million-strong population facing severe food shortages.
“We are not against the lockdown,” said Isaac Sayeed, who runs a stationery stall in the capital, Harare.
“But 21 days is rather too long. We already have shortages of basic foodstuffs,” he said.
The looming lockdown has triggered panic-buying and a spike in prices, adding more upward pressure to an inflation rate that currently stands at 540 per cent.
Price of cooking gas shot up almost 50 per cent overnight.