Zimbabwe orders COVID-19 vaccination for all civil servants

A healthcare worker walks past signs at a clinic offering coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccinations in Harare, Zimbabwe, July 8, 2021. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo/File Photo

HARARE, July 20 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's government on Tuesday ordered that all its workers should receive a COVID-19 vaccine and only 10% of civil servants report for duty, with the rest working from home in a bid to curb the spread of the pandemic.

The head of the public commission, Jonathan Wutawunashe, said in a circular to government departments that all civil servants - about 250,000 - were considered frontline workers who should get COVID-19 shots.

More than 1.1 million people have received a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Zimbabwe has recorded 85,732 infections, a quarter of them since end of June and 2,697 deaths to date.

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"All heads of ministries are directed to ensure that all civil servants under their jurisdiction should be vaccinated," Wutawunashe said.

After initial hesitancy, more Zimbabweans are getting vaccinated against COVID-19, with the government promising to import more vaccines from China.

Wutawunashe said only health workers and those providing critical government services would be allowed access to their offices while Zimbabwe was under a lockdown that includes a dawn-to-dusk curfew, shorter working hours and a ban on inter-city travel.

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Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by Alex Richardson

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