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Linda Masarira joins proposal for month-long hard lockdown

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  • "Our health care facilities are not able to respond to too many people falling sick at the same time, so it is prudent that we enter a lockdown now in the interest of saving lives," said Masarira.

OPPOSITION politician Linda Masarira has added her voice to the call for a month-long hard lockdown to slow down the spread of the coronavirus, saying Zimbabweans need tighter restrictions to save lives as infections have surged of late.

Masarira, who is the founding president of opposition party LEAD, says her party is of the view that a hard lockdown is now necessary in the interests of saving lives. She joins the call made yesterday by retailers under the banner of Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR), who called for a month-long lockdown together with stringent law enforcement to curb the rising Covid-19 cases and deaths.

“Inasmuch as we would want the economy to continue open, we are worried about the health of all the people. In general, Zimbabweans haven’t of late been as serious about Covid-19 prevention as they used to be,” Masarira told the Zimbabwe Voice in an interview Friday.

“I was shocked last week to find that in some places like Kuwadzana, bars and night clubs were not only open but also filled with revellers.

“A random check in the cities and towns will show you that people aren’t practising social distancing and the masks are not being put on correctly and safely. So for the good of everyone and in the interest of saving lives, we support the call by the Conference of Zimbabwe Retailers for a month-long lockdown so as to slow down the momentum of third wave infections.”

“Our health care facilities are not able to respond to too many people falling sick at the same time, so it is prudent that we enter a lockdown now in the interest of saving lives,” said Masarira.

Her position is shared by the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) which yesterday called on Government to introduce a hard national lockdown to stem the growing cases of Covid-19.

In a statement, CZR president Denford Mutashu said a 30-day lockdown will help turn the tide against the pandemic.

“Companies should also submit a list of their essential employees to a command centre in their area of operations,” he said.

“Law enforcement agencies should clamp down on illegal gatherings, illegal private house parties and close all shebeens as well as enforcing minimum numbers for funerals.

“Only essential services providers should remain operational during the proposed 30-day lockdown. Public transport operators should also carry 50 percent of their capacity.

“As CZR we implore Government to revise lockdown offence penalties.”

The business lobby group also urged Government to introduce an 8pm to 6am curfew and limit operating hours from 8am to 4pm daily for essential service providers.

Zimbabwe has 44,306 confirmed coronavirus Covid-19 cases and 1,709 deaths as of June 24, 2021. Of Covid-19 samples sequenced from January, 95% were the variant first identified in South Africa (B.1.351).

People are required to wear face masks in public and observe social distancing, defined as keeping a distance of at least one meter from any other individual.

Starting June 14, 2021, stricter measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 require that retail business open from 8AM to 6PM only. Restaurants are closed for eat-in service, but may serve take-away customers until 6PM.

Hotel and lodge restaurants may offer dine-in service until 10PM to residents of the hotel or lodge only.

Beer halls and night clubs are closed. All gatherings, except funerals with 30 or fewer attendees, are banned. – Zimbabwe Voice

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