Diana Nherera Suburban Reporter
The Zimbabwe Republic Police has expressed concern over the complacency by some members of the public who are defying Covid-19 regulations saying those found on the wrong side of the law will be arrested.
A survey conducted by Suburban in some parts of Harare showed several people were moving around without face masks while others were not wearing them properly by pulling them down to their chins.
Harare Provincial Spokesperson, Inspector Tendai Mwanza said people seem to have gone into a relaxing mode since the easing of the Covid-19 lockdown.
“Zimbabwe Republic Police Harare Province notes with great concern the complacency by members of the public who are wantonly defying Covid-19 regulations.
“After the relaxation of the Covid-19 regulations, people seem to have gone into a relaxing mode where a number of them no longer wear their face masks properly.
“Social distancing is also a cause for concern especially those travelling who sometimes overload vehicles or when gathering, they do not observe the one or two metres distance from the next person.
“Covid-19 is still with us henceforth people should always comply with all WHO (World Health Organisation) guidelines.“Those found wanting will be arrested and fined accordingly,” he said.
Insp Mwanza urged the public to complement Government efforts in curbing the pandemic.
“Everyone should play a role in mitigating the effects of Covid-19.
“Never drop the guard because Covid-19 is real,” he said.
This week Government noted that there was an increase in the number of Covid-19 infections and the education sector contributed significantly to this increase.
Government has, therefore, instituted the following measures to contain the Covid-19 surge in schools:
enhancement of surveillance and contact-tracing at schools and in the surrounding communities;
· increasing on-site COVID-19 testing of all suspected cases, contacts and surrounding communities;
isolation and management of all COVID-19-positive cases;
quarantining of those exposed;
restriction of movement into and out of the affected schools until the outbreaks have been controlled;
enhancement of public health and social protocols, including social distancing, hand washing, sanitization and wearing of face masks;
empowering teachers to detect and report suspected cases;
enhancement of awareness campaigns in schools and surrounding communities; and
vaccination of all eligible populations in schools and surrounding communities.
However, Cabinet directed that schools should remain open as the cases were being well managed.
“The (Cabinet) meeting, however, noted that out of a total school enrolment of 4.6 million, the number of COVID-19-positive cases detected is insignificant. All cases are being well-managed in line with the Standard Guidelines for the Coordinated Prevention and Management of COVID-19 at All Learning Institutions in Zimbabwe. Furthermore, most cases among learners are asymptomatic or have only mild symptoms.
Accordingly, Cabinet resolved that schools will remain open. Learners who are isolated will be provided with alternative learning platforms,” Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa told a post-Cabinet media briefing on Tuesday.
She said Cabinet was pleased to advise that cases in areas previously declared hotspots decreased significantly over the last 21 days and continue declining, due to the effective Covid-19 control measures and protocols put in place by Government.
“Treasury has also consistently provided the much-needed financial resources for the mitigation measures, with ZW$34.2 billion having been availed so far. These measures have, in general, seen a sustained decrease in the number of people in need of hospitalization for Covid-19, with the country’s hospital bed-occupancy rate decreasing from 6.9 percent the previous week to 5.6 percent this week,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
Vaccination against Covid-19 was progressing well countrywide with some towns and provinces steadily moving towards achieving herd immunity.
“Of special note is that the City of Bulawayo, at 52.6 percent for the first dose and 40.3 percent for the second is edging towards herd immunity, along with Matabeleland North where Victoria Falls has already surpassed its herd immunity,” said the Minister.
One million doses of the Sinovac vaccine were received on September 14, bringing the total number of vaccine doses received since roll-out of the vaccination programme to 11 800 000.