‘Complement lockdown restrictions with a robust health system’

The latest lockdown restrictions must be complemented by a robust health care system to curb an increase in the number of new Covid-19 cases, Bulawayo residents have said.

Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) coordinator, Emmanuel Ndlovu, in an interview urged the Ministry of Health and Child Care to enhance its efforts to acquire the vaccine in order to effectively manage the spread of the virus.

Ndlovu said although the lockdown is warranted, it is important to equip health facilities to be able to cope with coronavirus cases. 

“We do appreciate that this lockdown came at a time when people were now relaxing on social distancing, sanitising and wearing masks. However, lockdown alone will not solve the situation,” said Ndlovu. 

“There are no health systems in place so at the end of the day the lockdown becomes a repeat process which we will revisit each time the cases increase. We need a robust health system in place.”

Ndlovu lamented that the latest lockdown regulations will hit hard on informal traders who constitute a significant part of the economy. 

“Most people survive on pocket transactions where they are forced to look for money on a daily basis. The fact that there are no safety nets for them will result in the violation of lockdown measures as they go to fend for their families,” he said. 

Residents who spoke to CITE shared similar sentiments that although the lockdown will be effective in minimising new infections, closure of businesses will affect most families.

Velile Sithole said the instant shutdown in Zimbabwe was unexpected, especially for businesses as they did not have enough time to prepare their work strategies. 

“The closure was too sudden. With all the time lost last year due to similar circumstances, most companies were probably looking forward to a better and productive year. This new development will affect most business financial flows resulting in more losses,” Sithole said.

Maud Tarara, another resident, said most companies rely on production to be able to pay their employees and as long as there is no work there won’t be any pay.

“Most families will be affected because there won’t be any source of income,” she said. 

“Also, school children will be further affected. The government should at least consider opening only for exam classes. That way, there would be a limited number of students in schools.”

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