Residents in Bulawayo say it will be difficult for them to heed the call to stay at home as a mitigation strategy against the spread of Coronavirus, due to the economic challenges and high poverty levels in the country.
As a precautionary measure against the spread of coronavirus, health experts are encouraging the public to practice social distancing — staying at home, avoiding crowds and practising personal hygiene.
Social distancing involves taking steps to limit the number of people you come into close contact with.
However, some residents who spoke to CITE in separate interviews said it would be difficult for them to stay at home as they have to fend for their families.
“Social distancing in Zimbabwe is a nonstarter, if we check the queues in banks and supermarkets, people are looking for basic commodities and it becomes impossible for people to maintain social distancing,” said one resident who identified himself as Mr Muzika.
“Even if Zimbabwe was to put on lockdown, it would be a disaster as most basic commodities are not readily available and people have to spend hours in queues.”
Another resident, Bothwell Ndlovu called on the government to intensify awareness campaigns on the deadly virus as there was a lot of misleading information making the rounds on social media.
Another resident, Tawanda Kamhungira said it is very difficult to maintain social distancing as most people rely on public transport.
“Social distancing will be a challenge for us because most of us rely on public transport and if you notice ZUPCO buses are always packed,” said Kamhungira.
He called on authorities to come up with measures to decongest the buses so as to avoid exposing a lot of people to the deadly virus.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) as of 22 March 2020, there were 294 110 confirmed Coronavirus cases in 187 countries and territories with 12 944 deaths confirmed deaths.