By Paul Mzizi
More than 8000 people have been arrested in Matabeleland South Province for flouting Covid-19 regulations since the outbreak of the virus in March, police have said.
Matabeleland South Provincial police spokesperson, Chief Inspector, Philisani Ndebele said yesterday that those arrested had run afoul of a wide-array of Covid-19 regulations.
“This is an all-inclusive figure; there are those who were caught not wearing masks as proscribed by law, violation of curfew and movement restrictions, some business people for failure to comply with set times for running a business and some miners who did not have sanitizers,” said Chief Inspector Ndebele.
He said as from end of March until the end of the first phase of the lockdown period in July, 6 533 offenders were arrested.
“In the second phase of the lockdown period, that now includes a 6pm- 6am curfew, 1 616 offenders were arrested,” he said.
Chief Inspector Ndebele said police continue to urge members of the public to adhere to lockdown regulations.
“Members of the public must comply with the lockdown regulations. They are not doing it for the police but for their own safety and their families. We expect members of the public to comply with the set down regulations just as they comply with the Ministry of Health and Child Care guidelines on issues to do with the wearing of masks, washing of hands and maintaining social distance,” he said.
He, however, added that police in Gwanda and Matabeleland South Province as a whole were generally happy with the conduct of the majority of people in the area in cooperating with law enforcement agents in the fight against the spread of Covid-19.
“We want to commend the majority in the province for co-operating with the police in this fight against the Corona virus pandemic. It is just a few bad apples that spoil our operations and those are the ones that end up being arrested,” he said.
According to the second phase of the lockdown regulations, businesses have to operate from 8am- 3pm. They must provide customers with hand sanitizers as well as a thermometer at the entrance.
122 people have died in the country since the outbreak of the virus in March with 4893 reported having been infected, as the government continues to urge people to stay at home and only travel where really necessary.