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Zimbabwe Govt Expresses Worry Over Citizens Negligence Amid Rising Cases of COVID-19

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(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Zimbabwe has expressed concern and worry about citizens’ negligence amid reports many are not complying with Covid-19 regulations, with 26 000 people arrested within a week for violating various protocols including wearing masks.

 Zimbabwe introduced level 4 lockdown nearly a fortnight ago following a sharp increase in infections as new cases continue to rise.

After ending the year with just over 8,000 cumulative cases, the country has witnessed a scary jump to 24,256 as of January 13, with a daily average of between 800 and 900 cases being reported on a daily basis since the Christmas holidays.

A total of 1017 new cases and 38 deaths were reported on 13 January alone, and the country now has a total of 589 people who have succumbed to the virus since the first case was detected in March last year.

Government is now worried that citizens are disregarding Covid-19 prevention measures and has called for self-discipline.

Acting Information Minister Jenfan Muswere said the country which is drafting a Covid-19 vaccine framework might face more deaths and infections because of careless behaviour.

 “As of 6 January, a total of 309 061 arrests were made countrywide for flouting lockdown regulations, indicating an increase of 16 286 from 292775 reported in last briefing. What is worrying is that within a week 9 993 people were arrested for not wearing face masks and this points to negligence by some members of the society who are not taking this virus seriously and this calls for behaviour change. This kind of behaviour is deplorable and must be condemned,” said Muswere while giving a national update of the situation regards the pandemic.

A total of 309 061 people has been arrested for flouting lockdown regulations since March last year and many have paid Z$500 fines each.

Harare and Bulawayo, two biggest cities are major hotspots while the whole country was also recently declared a hotpots as European countries and US restricted their travelers from visiting the Southern African nation.

Government is intensifying public awareness campaigns and has now deployed health officials to screen people at roadblocks and checkpoints while more doctors have also been deployed to central hospitals.

This comes as South Africa, which is in level 3, this week tightened lockdown restrictions and resolved to close 20 of its borders including Beitbridge into Zimbabwe.

Analysts have said closing Beitbridge will be detrimental to Zimbabwe whose citizens rely on daily trade with South Africa

South Africa President said between now and 15 February only commercial cargo, diplomats, daily commuters with school or work visas and those seeking emergency medical attention will be allowed through the border.


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