Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu on Friday relaxed confinement measures against coronavirus and allowed certain businesses to reopen after the shutdown caused a drop in revenue.
The southern African country went into partial lockdown on March 20, shuttering borders and businesses and banning public gathering to stem the spread of the virus.
“We have experienced reduced revenue and if the status quo remains the same, our economy will plunge into the worst crisis,” Lungu announced in a televised address to the nation.
“I have therefore seen it inevitable to reopen cinemas, restaurants, and gymnasiums,” Lundu said, adding the hotels and lodges could also consider “getting back to normal operations”.
Bars remain shut, however, and strict health guidelines must continue to be observed at all times — including the use of face masks in public places.
Lungu said students who are meant to be sitting exams would go back to class on June 1. He asked school authorities to ensure that social distancing was maintained and all pupils wore face masks.
“We note that the numbers have generally remained low,” said Lungu.
“It is equally observed that the number of recoveries is high,” he added. “This pandemic is relatively different from what other nations are experiencing.”