Zimbabwe has been on enhanced level 4 lockdown for about three weeks now but the Covid-19 situation seems to be getting worse.
The daily figures of new Covid-19 cases and deaths are rising and this is very disturbing. The new curfew hours are 6.30 pm to 6am and businesses now operate from 8am to 3.30 pm.
Businesses have complied with the operating hours but there is need to improve on the enforcement of curfew hours as people are not observing the curfew as there is a hive of activity in the Central Business District hours after 6.30pm.
Intercity movement has been banned except for production and distribution of food or medicine but mshikashikas continue to ferry people between cities. These mshikashikas are passing through police roadblocks which means police are allowing them to operate despite the ban on inter-city travel.
Under the strict regulations, all gatherings except funerals are banned and companies have been directed to decongest workplaces to 40 percent of manning levels but people continue to gather at bottle stores while others are holding parties.
Government has said it wants economic activity to continue but it seems individuals are taking advantage of this to flout regulations.
Funerals have been singled out as super spreaders of Covid-19 as people only observe the limit of 30 mourners at the cemeteries but disregard this at homes where they gather for the funeral wake.
The citizens have been urged to forgo some social liberties as part of measures to contain the spread of the pandemic but imbibers are finding it difficult to buy beer and drink at home. Many of them continue to gather at bottle stores especially during weekends. We have said many times that we need as Zimbabweans to adjust to the new normal which requires individuals to spend the greater part of their time confined to their homes.
Those attending funerals should just pass condolences and leave to avoid big gatherings as what we are witnessing at many funerals. Police need to strictly enforce curfew hours and they probably need to introduce the 24- hour roadblocks as was the case when we first enforced the lockdown last year. The country is experiencing the third wave of Covid-19 and indications are that the situation will get even worse unless measures are taken to halt the spread of the pandemic.
People are dying in both urban and rural areas which means there is no place that is free of Covid-19. There is therefore urgent need for people to change behaviour and strictly adhere to Covid-19 health protocols.
There has been an overwhelming response to mass vaccination underway but the fear now is that the long queues could be super spreaders hence the need to observe social distancing and proper wearing of masks.
Government has allowed economic activity to continue but this should not be at the expense of the people’s health.