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South Africa Re-opens Borders As Zimbabwe Extends Lock-down Amid COVID-19

Entry points opened include Botswana (4) Lesotho(6), Eswatini(5), Namibia(2), Mozambique(2), and Zimbabwe (1), whereas the other 33 have remained closed.

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Tafadzwa Mwanengureni
Tafadzwa Mwanengureni
I am a student journalist at Harare Polytechnic majoring in print journalism

SOUTH AFRICA. Johannesburg: South Africa has on Monday re-opened its 20 land borders which were closed in January due to the surge of COVID-19 cases in the country, as the Zimbabwean president extends lock-down in their country.

However, it has set new conditions to which travelers should adhere.

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The measures include presenting a negative COVID-19 test taken no longer than 72 hours before entry, social distancing, and sanitization methods.

Travel documents

Additionally, travelers are to produce legitimate traveling proof of the COVID-19 document, failure to comply will result in a 5-year ban.

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Read Also: Zimbabwe’s Vendors Fail To Follow Lock-down Restrictions

In a statement, the Ministry of Home Affairs noted, “those who fail to provide proof of a legitimate COVID-19 test certificate that has been recognized by the WHO will be banned from entering the country for five years”.

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Entry points opened include Botswana (4) Lesotho(6), Eswatini(5), Namibia(2), Mozambique(2), and Zimbabwe (1), whereas the other 33 have remained closed.

Zimbabwe extends lock-down

Concurrently, on the same day, Zimbabwe extended its level 4 lock-down by 2 weeks again.

The extension followed the calls by the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights who called on the country not to open its borders with South Africa in an attempt to curb the spike of Covid-19.

Zimbabwe witnessed an increase of COVID-19 cases soon after the festive season when many people who were in foreign countries came back home.

Addressing the nation on Monday, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said “every life lost is a big loss to us. I, therefore, extend the national lock-down by 2 weeks”

He didn’t mention plans to re-open the borders as intercity travel remains closed.

On his social media handles President Mnangagwa wrote: “It is with deeper sadness that l announced that lockdown in Zimbabwe has been extended for two more week”.

 “I know that this is painful for many Zimbabweans and this decision was not taken without great deliberation”

“But there is light at the end of the tunnel”, he said.

As of February 14, Zimbabwe recorded 50 new cases and 10 deaths.

Zimbabwe received its first batch of Sinopharm vaccine for Covid-19 from China on Monday and the vaccination is set to start this week.

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