NIGHTCLUBS and bars which remain closed as part of measures to curb the spread of Covid-19, illegally opened during the Easter holiday. Most nightclubs opened until the wee hours of the morning and were not limiting the number of patrons thereby exposing the imbibers to the danger of contracting the pandemic.
The nightclub operators and their patrons completely ignored the curfew hours of 10PM to 5.30AM. Zimbabwe is now under threat of a third wave of Covid-19 and unless action is taken urgently to stop what is happening at nightclubs and bars, these beer outlets could be Covid-19 super spreaders.
The beer outlets operators and their patrons seem to have thrown caution to the wind as though we are already out of the wood yet the virus is still with us.
European countries are already grappling with the third wave of the pandemic which has forced some countries to enforce fresh lockdown measures. This should serve as a warning to Third World countries like Zimbabwe whose only effective weapon against the pandemic is to prevent infection.
Government has already warned that it will not hesitate to tighten Covid-19 control measures if people violate the lockdown regulations and what is happening now calls for an urgent review of the control measures.
There is definitely a need to clamp down on some social liberties as people have demonstrated that they are reckless and therefore, need to be assisted to minimise their exposure to the pandemic.
Police need to be out in full force to ensure bars and nightclubs remain closed and those buying from bottle stores do not drink at the premises.
Since the relaxation of the lockdown measures, there has been rampant flouting of lockdown regulations and the situation was worse during the Easter Holiday probably because of the excitement during such public holidays when workers, including those in the diaspora, visit relatives and friends.
Pirating kombis and taxis are also back on the roads, taking advantage of the reduced roadblocks in cities and towns. Government last year directed that all public transporters should fall under the ambit of the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco) to enable the enforcement of lockdown regulations such as sanitising and social distancing.
Vendors are also back on the streets and many of them are not observing the lockdown regulations. There are now fears that the rampant flouting of lockdown health protocols could reverse the successes the nation has so far registered in the fight against the pandemic.
We want to once again implore Government to move with speed to tighten lockdown regulations and ensure people strictly adhere to the regulations to prevent a third wave of the pandemic which might be very devastating. The opening of the economy to sustain livelihoods is a very welcome decision but this should not be at the expense of the people’s lives.