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Southern Africa Trust |

Impact of COVID 19 Lockdown on Micro Small Medium Scale Enterprises in Zimbabwe

Trade & Development

The Novel Coronavirus Disease of 2019 (COVID 19) was first reported in the province of Wuhan, China in September 2019. It is an airborne strain of the family of Coronavirus not previously identified in humans. No effective vaccine exists. Vaccines generally take years in clinical trials before they are released onto the market and currently researchers worldwide are racing to have a safe and effective vaccine available as early as 2021. Russia has claimed success before approved clinical trials with Sputnik V. No registered treatment currently exists, and all cases are treated symptomatically. The virus has a global mortality rate of 3%, however Zimbabwe has experienced a slightly higher rate of 3.1%. The best course of action as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO, 2020) is prevention through social distancing, and good hygiene standards such as wearing of masks to prevent inhalation of infected air droplets, hand washing and sanitization of surfaces.

To prevent the spread of COVID 19, many countries imposed national lockdowns with significant restrictions to movement and productivity, sports, entertainment as well as education. According to the Ministry of Health and Childcare (MoH) as at 31 August 2020 the country had recorded a total of 6497 confirmed cases, 5221 recoveries and 202 deaths (MOH,2020).

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