Surging Covid-19: time to review laws

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THERE is every reason for every Zimbabwean to be concerned about the rapid spread of the deadly coronavirus in the country.

 

This is particularly so after the virus, that had appeared contained in the last few months due to commendable discipline by ordinary Zimbabweans and consistent enforcement of the tough lockdown measures imposed by the authorities to curb the spread of this killer disease, is on the destruction path again.

At the weekend Covid-19 killed 10 people — nine in Harare and one in Bulawayo — as it became apparent that the country is hurtling towards a second wave of the pandemic.

This virus is much more scary than the mythical Grim Reaper as it is real and deadly. What is disconcerting is the public’s attitude to this disease, which has infected millions around the world as well as taking lives of many others.

Despite what we have seen in countries that have been hit by the second wave of Covid-19, in Zimbabwe it is  business as usual — with the public disregarding the laws without any compunction. The growing coronavirus indiscipline by many Zimbabweans saw police calling for tougher penalties at the weekend against those who are disdainful of necessary public management measures of the lethal virus, including the wearing of face masks in public.

In addition to appealing for public compliance to Covid-19 restrictions that were imposed earlier in the year when the authorities introduced a national lockdown, law enforcements agents also warned yesterday that they would clamp down ruthlessly on errant commuter omnibus operators who were illegally ferrying passengers in violation of the corona regulations that include physical distancing.

After nine months of static regulations, it is time for the Health and Child Care ministry to review the Covid-19 laws with a view to imposing tougher regulations as this will help both authorities and all the people involved in the fight against Covid-19.

The country should not and must not slip back into the desperate mode of having to close the economy when the necessary instruments are there to protect the lives of those who generally have heeded calls to observe both regulations and World Health Organisation (WHO) protocols on preventing spread of coronavirus.

Authorities need to tighten the laws and punish all violators of the regulations governing conduct in relation to curbing the spread of Covid-19.

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