Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa

Zimbabwe orders mandatory vaccination for civil servants

ZIMBABWEAN authorities on Tuesday toughened virus curbs, ordering compulsory vaccinations for civil servants and reducing the number of workers reporting for duty in a bid to stem a rise in local transmission.

“All civil servants should be vaccinated,” Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa told reporters after a weekly cabinet meeting.

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She also said only 25 per cent of government workers were required to physically report for duty, according to tweets posted on her ministry’s account. Courts will only open for urgent cases.

A day earlier a government circular directed all ministries to reduce the number of staff coming to work from “40 percent to 10 percent”. The limited staff numbers exclude health workers and designated critical services.

Zimbabwe has seen a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases over the past two months, fuelled mainly by the Delta variant. In the seven days to Tuesday, cases leaped from around 8,000 the previous week to more than 21,000. The respiratory disease has so far claimed at least 2,697 lives and infected nearly 86,000 people.

Just over 1.1 million of Zimbabwe’s 14.8 million people have received a first dose, while just over 640,000 have had their second jab.

Zimbabwe has imposed a raft of measures to curb the spread of the pandemic including delaying opening of schools, reducing shopping hours, capping attendance at gatherings including funerals and banning intercity travel.

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