Public health advice, orders remain critical

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IT IS unfortunate that there are still some Zimbabweans who are ignoring the stay-at-home lockdown instructions imposed from Monday by the government designed to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Sadly, some people are determined to do what they want despite the government orders, resulting in a number of citizens having skirmishes with the police and health monitors.

Despite several reported infections in the country and one death, many are not taking the threat the virus poses seriously.

Zimbabweans should not be careless and flout the advice to stay indoors as the government wants to stop the virus spreading into the high density areas and several sprouting informal settlements.

We cannot stress this enough and if there are any sceptics out there, by now they should have grasped the importance of following public health advice.

While it is understandable that quarantine, the curfew and travel bans make normal operations difficult for everyone, hence the desperation for people to risk movement at times, these must be really necessary. Shopping for basic necessities like food and medicine should be as infrequent as possible.

If we want to save lives and avoid the experiences of other countries, we must social-distance and stay at home.
It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure we do not suffer the fate we have seen across the world — an escalation and spread of this virus — because people simply ignore the warnings they are given.

Most Zimbabweans should now be aware of what happens when we don’t stay in our homes; the illness rate increases and the strain on our ill-equipped hospitals will surely be enormous.

Images of young people playing soccer in some high-density suburbs should be discouraged as they are putting their lives and those of their families in danger.

Today is the third day of the lockdown and we urge police to move into the enforcement phase and arrest those flouting this order.

Those violating the order should not blame security agencies as they execute curfew orders and as they say “prevention is better than cure”.

The police, however, should discharge their mandate professionally so as not to create tension. Members of the public must not be subjected to torture, cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment.

The police must enforce the curfew with love, not might, because fighting coronavirus as a state of emergency does not by itself suspend the Bill of Rights.

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