& Mugove Tafirenyika
POLICE have set up a special crack unit to enforce discipline among ordinary citizens whose apparent disregard of lockdown restrictions has miffed authorities.
This comes as there are growing calls for the government to further tighten the current coronavirus stay-at-home order — amid ballooning deaths of people succumbing to the lethal virus.
Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, national police spokesperson, Paul Nyathi, said the authorities had had enough of the worrying slip in discipline by the public, hence the new development.
“The influx of citizens is the same observation that has been made by the police. We have an operation coming and it will be systematic.
“The …operation to deal with these people (Covid-19 violators) is being coordinated by officers commanding Harare and Bulawayo provinces.
“Not every police officer will be on this special operation. Only those selected will carry out the operation.
“We are doing this to do away with cases of corruption as well as abuse of office by some law enforcers,” Nyathi told the Daily News.
“Arrests will be effected and … what I can tell you is that those who defy lockdown restrictions will only have themselves to blame.
“Yesterday (Tuesday), 2 990 people were arrested countrywide for violating Covid-19 protocols,” Nyathi added.
This comes as the country is now in the second week of a 30-day toughened lockdown which authorities imposed to curb the rapid spread of the deadly respiratory disease, which has so far killed more than 500 people in the country.
The reversion to a hard lockdown also saw authorities re-introducing a fresh dusk-to-dawn curfew.
Meanwhile, authorities yesterday revealed they were working on a comprehensive plan to roll out a Covid-19 vaccine that will be administered on citizens.
Deputy chairperson of the ad hoc inter-ministerial taskforce on Covid-19, Amon Murwira, who is also Higher Education minister, said the plan would guide the government on the type of drug to be secured.
“The government is working … on the strategy for vaccines. So, we are undertaking strategic work on vaccines to have a technical framework and a plan.
“This plan will tell us how and what vaccine we will get. What I can say is that wait for the space and the details will unfold.
“You know, vaccines are not like cough medicines, they are complicated and this complication is the one that makes us come up with a technical framework as well as a plan,” Murwira said at a press briefing yesterday.
“It’s only after that, that we can talk about where we will get, what kind of vaccine we will get and the rollout plan.
“In the meantime what is very important and what the nation must know is that the best medicine is to mask-up, wash your hands with soap, sanitise, social distance and stay at home,” he added.