By Auther Chimbgwa
Zimbabwe on Monday recorded 2 555 new Covid-19 cases in a single day, raising fears of the dreaded fourth wave of the pandemic and a more restricted Christmas holiday under tighter lockdown measures by government.
According to the latest update by the health ministry, the country on Monday also recorded three deaths.
This was on the back of 523 fresh cases recorded on Sunday and 1 082 the day before.
On Friday, there were 1 062 whilst 1 042 cases were recorded on Thursday.
Zimbabwe now has 7 777 active cases.
Recently, the government imposed what critics described as knee-jerk national lockdown regulations under statutory instrument 267 of 2021 in response to the discovery of the much more contagious Omicron variant, first detected in neighbouring Botswana and South Africa almost a week ago.
Zimbabwean scientist, Sikhulile Moyo, based at Harvard Aids Institute discovered the Omicron in that country about a fortnight ago.
The regulations – regarded as harsh – saw the imposition of a curfew from 9pm to 6am. They were initially announced by President Mnangagwa on November 30 2021.
They require returning residents and visitors to undergo PCR testing and those found to be negative will be quarantined at their own expense for ten days.
“These regulations are ruthless and are clearly meant curb the freedom of movement,” said one commentator who preferred not to be named.
However, the regulations caught authorities at ports of entry unawares and have not been implemented.
President Mnangagwa is highly likely to respond to the latest spike in Covid-19 infection cases by tightening the regulations.