©️ THE government instituted a new law yesterday that criminalises the gathering of two or more people — except in special circumstances, as authorities further toughened their stringent measures around combating the coronavirus menace, the Daily News reports.
This comes as the country begins a 21-day lockdown that was announced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa last week, to help save lives and combat the spread of the disease.
Statutory Instrument (SI) 83 of 2020, which operationalises the current lockdown, also criminalises the hoarding of medical supplies needed for coronavirus (Covid-19).
In this regard, and starting today, any gathering of more than two people is prohibited — unless people are at a funeral or waiting for public transport.
Even under these two exemptions, the number of people should not exceed 50.
Outside of this, people are only allowed to leave their homes for essential goods and services, including going to the shops to buy food, visiting pharmacies for medication, and going to fuel stations.
“Subject to this order, for the period of 21 days from the 30th March, 2020, to the 19th April, 2020 every individual is confined to his or her home and may not leave … except temporarily,” reads part of the new law.
Only those who are performing essential services will be allowed to leave their homes.
The SI 83 also says if anyone is caught and refuses to return immediately to his or her home, or has no home, such people would be treated as having escaped from a place of detention, isolation or quarantine.
As a result, such people would be arrested without warrant.
It also says those found guilty of hoarding medical supplies needed to combat Covid-19 and food will either be jailed for a year or pay a fine.
Severe contraventions will attract both a jail term and a fine.
Zimbabwe recorded its first coronavirus death last week after television personality Zororo Makamba — who was the youngest son of telecommunications tycoon and former legendary broadcaster James Makamba — died at Wilkins Hospital, after being diagnosed with the lethal virus.
So far the deadly virus has killed more than 32 000 people and infected nearly 700 000 others around the world.
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