Mixed feelings over lifting of COVID-19 curfew

THE rolling out of Covid-19 vaccines in Zimbabwe has enabled the Southern African country to contain the disease and relax some of its measures which includes the scrapping of curfew effective this week, a move which some residents feel will have an impact on prevention of the spread of COVID-19.

From 2020 when Covid-19 first hit Zimbabwe, curfew measures were undertaken and these have been in place since then.

A resident from Pumula who identified himself as Mhlophe said although the scrapping of curfew is good news to residents, the decision could have been taken after winter as cases tend to surge in colder temperatures.

“We are happy that we will be able to trade freely without breaking the law, indeed we are slowly reverting back to normalcy. However, we are still in winter and if we relax too much we may find ourselves in serious trouble as Covid is still there. I wish the government could do something to enforce the wearing of masks and sanitizing of hands so that we are protected,” said Mhlophe.

For Netsai Chulu from Cowdray park, the decision needs police to beef up patrol teams and this may encourage criminals to start moving around homes after 10PM.

“The curfew in a way protected us from people who would just move during the night and now that the measure has been relaxed, may police beef up patrols so that we are protected. We have had a lot of instances where people are robbed and killed at night and now that moving around has been legalized, some may take advantage of that. I am also relieved that we will be able to go to our favorite places for braai and spend so much time without worrying about the police.”

In his post-Cabinet briefing on Tuesday, Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister, Dr Jenfan Muswere said implementation of all Covid-19 public health and social measures must continue to be strengthened although curfew has been scrapped officially.

He said the number of new COVID-19 cases continued to decrease over the past week while the recovery rate stood at 97 percent.

“No patients were admitted to the intensive care unit (over the past week). This indicates that the COVID-19 pandemic remains under control, as it has been for some months now,” he said.

“Cabinet stresses that the implementation of all COVID-19 public health and social measures must continue to be strengthened.

Muswere said as of Monday, 55.7 percent of the population had received vaccinations. The Cabinet last week approved the introduction of COVID-19 self-test kits mainly at ports of entry in order to ramp up the country’s testing capacity.

In an interview  National Covid-19 coordinator, Dr Agnes Mahomva said vaccines have proven to be effective.

Dr Mahomva said vaccination is the major contributor to the low number of cases being recorded.

“The vaccination is important in the prevention of Covid-d 19. It helps in protecting people from getting severely ill and from dying. Our cases have gone down and we have since relaxed measures including curfew and extending trading times all thanks to the vaccines, “she said.

“The impact of the vaccine is very strong leading to the pandemic coming under control,” she said.


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