by WELLINGTON TONI
HARARE, (ITNews Zimbabwe) – MAJOR construction projects in Zimbabwe have come to a standstill and some companies have shut shop.
These are among the biggest indicators that the country is headed for a lockdown amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) already having a first fatality.
The death comes days after the COVID-19 was confirmed locally. Three cases were confirmed by the time of publication.
Zororo Makamba, the broadcaster and son of one of the country’s most prominent entrepreneurs, died on Monday after contracting the virus, presumably after contracting the virus in the United States of America (USA).
Coincidentally on Monday, President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced a raft of new measures to curb the spread of the pandemic.
These include the partial closure of borders, bars and night clubs as well as non-essential travel.
There are indications a 21-day lockdown, similar to the one ordered in neighbouring South Africa, is looming.
The capital, Harare, has seen some small and medium sized shops close too.
Some of these are owned by Chinese entrepreneurs.
Indications are that bigger retail shops are to follow suit and limit operations by the weekend.
Already, construction of the new Parliament building in Mt Hampden in the capital city, which is undertaken by the Chinese, has been halted until the virus is contained.
The project is about 30 kilometres from the city centre.
In the province of Matabeleland North, refurbishment of the Hwange Thermal Power Station has been put on hold much to fears the country’s power crisis will be elongated.
The exercise, again being done by the Chinese, was due for completion in 2022.
Companies are encouraged to equip their employees to work from home, which is possibly since the advent of technology.
However, there are fears performance levels will be impacted.
Liquid Telecom, the technology firm, believes operating from home is imperative to enhance measures against COVID-19, and, prevent a total economic shutdown.
The company is trialing a virtual workplace, a digital offering to ensure companies’ performances are not impacted by employees working from their homes.
“As COVID-19 is changing the way we work, Liquid is here to help you leverage the latest digital solutions to keep your business operations up and running,” read a pledge by the company on its six-month free trial of the offering.