Harare residents must heed lockdown measures

08 Jan, 2021 - 10:01 0 Views
Harare residents must heed lockdown measures

Suburban

Harare residents must take heed of the Government, City of Harare and health authorities’ call to observe the Covid-19 lockdown regulations to prevent the spreading of the deadly virus. We urge residents of the capital city to play their part by ensuring the city and indeed the entire country arrest the surge in the Covid-19 cases which the nation has been experiencing since the onset of the festive season.

Last year both residents of the northern suburbs and the high density suburbs were guilty of violating the lockdown regulations by moving around unnecessarily. In the northern suburbs where most residents are mobile, some were driving around suburbs visiting friends and relatives without wearing masks and not practicing social distancing in breach of the lockdown regulations which stipulate avoiding crowds or gatherings as well as observing laid down curfew times. 

There were reports that since bars and other places of entertainment were still not allowed to operate, some in the northern suburbs were resorting to hosting house parties where crowds were gathering and exceeding the recommended numbers. 

At such gatherings people arrive wearing masks and sanitize their hands upon entry but as soon as they settle down, the masks are taken as party goers start mixing and mingling. Some will be sharing drinks, cigarettes and the popular hubbly bubbly pipe (also known as Shisha pipe) which is smoked by two or three people at a time while others wait for their turn. These were some of the examples of the risky behaviour by residents of the northern suburbs exposing themselves to the deadly coronavirus. 

When the Government relaxed the lockdown and curfew regulations to allow restaurants to operate, some operators of bars and other places of entertainment took advantage of this and were opening way beyond the stipulated curfew times. The moment people gather for beer drinking, the Covid-19 regulations are hardly observed as they cannot drink while wearing their masks and soon they start getting closer to each other as they engage in bar talk while some will even begin cuddling.   In that case there will be no more social distancing and these events easily become spreaders of the Covid-19 if there are patrons who are infected. The trend was to continue into the festive season which is usually associated with partying and a lot of travel as people visit families, relatives and friends to spend time together and catch on the year. Gigs were even being held at venues in Borrowdale and Belgravia for old school music shows with no social distancing and mask wearing.  House parties also continued with even school going teenagers hosting their own. At least 200 teenagers were arrested at a New Year’s party at a house in Westgate. 

Informal traders particularly vendors based at shopping centres in the northern suburbs were also breaching curfew regulations by continuing to sell their wares including beer in certain instances well into the night.

The City of Harare this week indicated that is it overwhelmed by the soaring number of Covid-19 cases, which have turned the capital city into an epi-centre of the pandemic.

 We appeal to Harare residents to observe the lockdown regulations to help control the coronavirus cases, which threaten to spiral out of control.

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