As the ravaging coronavirus scourge continues to apparently unsettle state authorities in South Africa and Zimbabwe, the two countries have agreed to close busy Beitbridge Border Post to non-essential human traffic, an official has confirmed.
The closure will be effected today, at midnight.
Nqobile Ncube, who is assistant regional immigration officer in charge of Beitbridge in Zimbabwe, told state media that they had agreed, in principle, with their southernmost neighbors, ‘to synchronise operations for the next 21 days”.
“Only Zimbabweans travelling from South Africa and those foreigners who have valid permits to reside in the country will be allowed passage north at this border. The same applies to those leaving the country. It will be the South Africans and those who are residents of the neighbouring country who will depart”, Ncube was quoted as saying.
This week, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced an immediate lockdown for 21 days beggining today. On the other hand his Zimbabwean counterpart President Emmerson Mnangagwa came short of effecting a similar lockdown after he recently declared the pandemic a national disaster.
Mnangagwa recently interdicted groupings of at least fifty people from the initial 100 amongst a raft of measures to minimise the potentially disastrous impact of coronavirus which has killed thousands while hundreds of thousands have been hospitalised globally.
Prominent personalities such as opposition MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa and labor group ZCTU have also implored on Mnangagwa to announce an immediate lockdown as there are serious concerns that the country is hardly prepared for the catastrophic Covid-19 pandemic.