Isn’t it strange that China had the first confirmed Covid-19 case traced back to November 17, 2019, but is now one of the safest places in the world?
How did the world’s largest economy defeat coronavirus? By throwing money at the pandemic? No!
It was strong public health measures that carried the day.
The first of such measures was a lockdown of Wuhan, a city of 11 million people, in late January 2020.
But for a lockdown to work, its rules must be followed to the T.
Yesterday we reported that health experts foresee an extension of the 30-day lockdown if citizens fail to observe guidelines meant to stop the spread of Covid-19.
Police in Bulawayo also made it clear that they will not tolerate nonsense in the enforcement of Covid-19 regulations by raiding a shebeen in New Magwegwe.
Neighbours alerted the police of the illegal activities and they reacted swiftly by raiding the house and arresting homeowner, Bukhosi Gumbo. Police recovered 82 crates of Indlovu opaque beer, 84 crates of Chibuku beer and 17 quarts of clear beer.
They also arrested 600 people in the city for defying lockdown regulations.
Countrywide, police arrested a total of 2 664 suspects for flouting lockdown regulations.
Under new lockdown measures, church services have been banned, funeral gatherings have been limited to 30 people, bars and bottle stores shut down, restaurants closed while intercity and interprovincial movement has been limited to those classified as essential service providers.
These measures set by Government, including social distancing and restricting travelling, are aimed at “flattening the curve” and help in eliminating new Covid-19 cases.
Flattening the curve refers to using protective practices to slow the rate of Covid-19 infection so hospitals have room, supplies and doctors for all of the patients who need care.
By going to a shebeen, one puts at risk his friends and family members. Operating a shebeen puts the whole city at risk.
While people operating legal and illegal businesses like shebeens have had their incomes eroded, the lockdown is not there to destroy them, but keep their businesses alive post Covid-19.
To operate a business, you need to be alive first, your customers need to be alive.
While the world is going back to second and third lockdowns, China is opening up and businesses are picking up the broken pieces.
The experts are right, defying the lockdown can only lead to another lockdown because Zimbabwe does not have the room, supplies and doctors for all of the patients who will need care.
This second wave of Covid-19 is actually more dangerous than the one we had during the first lockdown last year.
This means adherence to lockdown measures must also be more serious than ever before.
We urge Zimbabweans to follow all regulations religiously, while the police must continue to ensure full compliance.
This lockdown must be the first and last in the year 2021. That should be the New Year’s resolution — that we will never have another lockdown.
Let’s accept the disruption caused by the lockdown and live to tell the tale.
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