Panic over infection rates mixed with fear of widespread hunger as 30-day shutdown is imposed after people defy ban on gatherings

Parties and new year celebrations that attracted thousands of revellers with little social distancing or mask wearing have triggered panic and a strict 30-day national lockdown in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare.

On New Year’s Eve thousands of people gathered at Matapi, Mbare, one of Zimbabwe’s oldest townships for a dancehall concert, while thousands of others held parties across the city despite a police ban.

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