Bulawayo City Council (BCC) says supermarkets are now required to limit the number of customers inside their shops at any given time as part of measures to contain the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19).
The city is yet to record a single case of the pandemic.
Addressing a press conference, Thursday, the Mayor Councillor Solomon Mguni said the local authority held a special council meeting on Wednesday, which came up a number of measures to prevent the spread of the virus in the city.
“Shops are now required to make limitations to the number of customers inside a shop retaining every time in order to observe social distancing and they are required to make provision of sanitation facilities at each entry point,” he said.
Bulawayo Town Clerk, Christopher Dube added that supermarkets would use their own discretion to come up with the required figure.
“It is up to all of us as residents oo see what numbers we need to come to the shop and at the same time observing the 1 metre space and it will also depend on the size of the shop and also the transactions that have to be made,” said Dube.
BCC Senior Public Relations Officer, Nesisa Mpofu added that BCC had already engaged shop owners on the new regulations.
“The message has already gone out to the shops, our health services have been up and down in terms of engagement and education but also we can’t say for shops this is the size to stick to because you look at TM it’s a big shop but you look at other shops and they are smaller so that discretion has to be exercised,” said Mpofu.
She added that they are appealing for goods and services to be delivered inside shops.
“Our appeal also is that we know that there is a lot of people selling mealie meal and sugar, I think the health services has been engaging some of the suppliers to ensure that goods are delivered inside the shops and not outside”.
“We also appeal to business people to make sure that they are able to monitor people coming into the shops because you find that people are congregating outside, but its also the public that can assist us in that nature as well,” she said.
Meanwhile, Mayor Solomon Mguni added that they are also pleading with the government to consider joining a regional lockdown so as to deal with the pandemic.
“In any case as a City we believe that while we are guided by the government’s impartial lockdown measures we believe that taking a que from our neighbours like South Africa who have imposed a 21 day lockdown.
“We believe that in the interest of mitigating and preventing this pandemic it was in the best interest of the country not only Zimbabwe but the SADC region itself that this be a SADC lockdown and extent to African continental lockdown so that the Africa’s centre for this control can now monitor this pandemic until maybe by the end of April so that we are sure that we have completely dealt with this pandemic,”said Mayor Mguni.