Covid-19: Let’s emulate SA


WITH cases of Covid-19 infections in the country close to breaching the 1 000 mark, the government must emulate South Africa, which on Sunday tightened its coronavirus lockdown measures.

Among the measures pronounced by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa are a ban on sale of alcohol, introduction of a curfew between 9pm and 4am and stricter enforcement of mask wearing.

The move was triggered by a huge spike in cases of coronavirus in the neighbouring country, which by Sunday night had 276 242 confirmed cases, and is recording an average of 12 000 new infections daily. Every hour, South Africa is recording 500 new cases of the killer disease — a scary statistic.

In our case, there has been a huge increase in both new infections and deaths, especially this month.
As of Sunday night, we had 985 cases, including 18 deaths.

Worryingly, local transmissions are on the rise and the country is not sure as to how widespread the pandemic is.
While South Africa has tested over two million people, we have done about 89 000 tests — too paltry to gauge the extent of the spread of the disease.

It is now incumbent upon President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his government to emulate South Africa and tighten coronavirus lockdown measures.

We believe that the country should remain on level two of the lockdown, but the government should ban alcohol sales, retain the ban on kombis and introduce a curfew.

Enforcement of mask wearing and social distancing must be intensified, especially in high density suburbs, growth points and high density suburbs. We have noted with deep concern the “I don’t care attitude” prevalent in these areas and this may prove to be fatal in the long run.

Deployment of soldiers and the police in the locations must be reinforced to ensure that lockdown measures are adhered to without fail. Check points must also be intensified.

Errant behaviour by citizens must be punished severely if the country is to contain and mitigate the spread of the disease, which has wrecked economies globally and left tens of thousands of people dead.

Above all, our challenge as a nation is to carry out massive and intensive tests and thorough contact tracing to gauge the spread and extent of the disease in the country.

Resources required to fight this scourge must be made available in abundance to save lives. This is a matter of life and death. Life is precious!


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