POLICE have arrested more than 1 500 people across the country since the 21-lockdown started on Monday for defying rules and regulations stipulated under the directive which was put in place to minimise the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19).
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi told Sunday News that as of yesterday afternoon, 1 516 people had been arrested for various offences related to failure to observe rules and regulations related to the lockdown.
Asst Comm Nyathi said despite the arrests, the general public has responded well in taking heed of the call to stay at home during the lockdown period.
“From the first day up to today (yesterday) we have arrested a total of 1 516 for various offences throughout the country which include the issue of operating shebeens, traffic offences and people who are trying to open bars yet they are no exception. We also have some businesses that are trying to open when they should not be opened,” he said.
Asst Comm Nyathi said the public was also failing to observe social distancing.
“People are also not observing the issue of social distancing and we are saying people must observe social distancing guidelines as given by the Government,” he said.
Social distancing or physical distancing is a set of non-pharmaceutical interventions or measures taken to prevent the spread of a contagious disease by maintaining a physical distance between people and reducing the number of times people come into close contact with each other.
Asst Comm Nyathi said the public was also failing to stay indoors.
“People should also stay indoors, we have had a challenge of people who are moving around without reason. Some are driving and some are walking on the streets particularly after 5pm. We are asking those people to stay indoors and observe safety measures,” he said.
A survey around Bulawayo revealed a different picture from the day the lockdown commenced. The streets were generally empty with a few worming queues of people at grocery stores seeking basic commodities. Security details at supermarkets were ensuring that shoppers maintained social distancing as they queued to access groceries and other goods. Pharmacies that initially announced that they would operate until 10pm changed their operating times and were closing shop at 3pm.
Several fast food outlets were generally closed save for a number that operated from morning and closed in the afternoon.
Commuter omnibuses were also off the streets following a Government directive to have only recommended transport operators on the roads. Law enforcers were also visible both in the CBD and residential areas ensuring that people were observing the lockdown and staying indoors.
– Sunday News
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