COVID19News

Retailers call for a stiffer 30-day national lockdown

THE Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) has called upon the government to impose a stiffer 30-day national lockdown coupled with an 8 pm to 6 am curfew and exemption letters for essential services providers as part of measures to contain the third wave of Covid-19 infections in the country.

This comes at a time when coronavirus cases are on an upward trend in the country with the government having imposed localised lockdowns in some hotspots dotted around the country.

Hotspots that have since been locked down include Nkulumane, Emakhandeni and northern suburbs clinical districts of Bulawayo, Kariba, Karoi, Chinhoyi, Kwekwe and many others.

In Bulawayo, police have imposed a dusk to dawn curfew and ordered businesses to operate from 8 am to 3 pm as part of the measures to curb the spread of the pandemic.

Yesterday the country recorded 826 infections and 17 deaths bringing the cumulative total of positive cases to 44, 306 including 37, 524 recoveries and 1, 709 deaths.

In a statement CZR president, Denford Mutashu called upon authorities to move with speed and tighten lockdown measures citing a rise in Covid-19 statistics and the “impending disastrous threat posed by the deadly third wave.”

“This comes after the CZR has noticed a general complacency in most parts of the country which has seen a rise in lack of physical distancing, disregard to wearing of masks, as most people quickly put on their masks when approaching police officers only to take them off thereafter,” said Mutashu.

“There is however a need for increased Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) presence in most parts of the country, mostly communities and major highways. It is also critical to highlight that the general citizenry must remain vigilant and be alive to the deadly threat posed by the third wave of Covid-19.”

Mutashu said the police should also clamp down on illegal gatherings, illegal private house parties and enforce compliance on funeral numbers among other tougher measures.

“Only essential services providers should remain operational during a proposed 30-day lockdown,” said Mutashu.

“Public transport operators should also carry 50 percent of their capacity. The business community should also reactivate its support towards resource mobilisation as the country continues with its vaccination drive.”

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