HARARE, Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe registered a record 86 COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, the most in a single day since the beginning of the pandemic.

With 2,491 new cases, the overall caseload reached 78,872 cases, and 2,418 related deaths, the Health Ministry said.

The Southern African country was hit by a second wave between January and March, and the third wave is currently underway.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa extended a nationwide lockdown by another 14 days on Tuesday, further delaying the re-opening of schools due to be open on June 28. On June 29, he introduced the lockdown measures that included a nighttime curfew and curbs on inter-city travel.

In a televised address, he said Zimbabwe aimed to vaccinate one million people during the lockdown extension.

In a tweet on Friday, the president said a million Zimbabweans have now received their first COVID-19 jab. “Thank you to all the doctors, nurses and health officials who have made this possible. You are true Zimbabwean heroes,” he wrote.

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