Zimbabwean police to impound motor vehicles from curfew violators as country seeks to tame COVID-19

HARARE, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- The Zimbabwe Republic Police warned Tuesday that they will be impounding vehicles from motorists who will be caught violating a COVID-19 induced dusk-to-dawn curfew.

The move, which spokesperson Paul Nyathi said was with immediate effect, comes as the country experiences a spike in the number of COVID-19 infections and deaths, with 60 people having died within 24 hours up to end of Monday.

This is the highest number of deaths to have occurred within 24 hours since the pandemic was first reported in the country on March 20 last year.

Nyathi said the police would be out in full force starting Tuesday to ensure compliance with the 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.

"Therefore, movements, whether on foot or motorized, are not allowed during this period and anyone found walking or driving will be arrested, with vehicles being impounded," he said.

He also advised those travelling between cities to plan their journeys in such a way that the curfew does not set in before they reach their destinations.

To illustrate how serious the police were, Nyathi said that they had arrested 2,336 people throughout the country on Monday for violating lockdown regulations, including unnecessary movement and failure to wear face masks.

Zimbabwe is currently under a 30-day national lockdown which allows only those in essential services to travel into town while non-essential services are closed.

The lockdown is due to end on Jan. 31, but Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who is also the health minister, has warned that it may be extended if citizens do not adhere to regulations and numbers continue to spike.

As of Monday, the country had recorded had 27,892 cases, including 773 deaths.

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