By Nompilo Mathuthu
The government is not hesitant to deploy the army in the event of citizens failing to adhere to lockdown regulations amid reports of a possible third wave, a cabinet minister has said.
This was revealed during a Covid-19 taskforce briefing in Bulawayo yesterday , by Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo who said the government was worried about the level of complacency by citizens who are not taking the novel virus seriously.
Minister Moyo said police should enforce lockdown regulations especially that of the transport system.
“I would like to talk to you (police) before I leave because this is very important. If we don’t enforce it, people will relax. If there are difficulties, it is better to know them but that does not mean we allow non-public transport to take place,” he said.
Minister Moyo said local authorities should work with the central government in reinforcing lockdown regulations for the country to be able to stand the anticipated third wave.
“That’s why we said to the police, if you don’t have enough personnel, the city operates under your license. The municipal police are in your direct command and operate under your act. When it comes to public order, municipal police don’t operate under the Urban Councils Act but are to operate and your direct command. I say this now and have said it in front of council officials.”
Meanwhile Mpilo Central Hospital Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Professor Dr Solwayo Ngwenya said health experts were also worried about the level of reluctance to follow guidelines displayed by citizens pertaining to the novel virus .Dr Ngwenya said Mpilo Hospital has been recording deaths of youngsters between the ages of thirty to forty.
” So far we have been very lucky with the two waves we have not seen Covid 19 at a full scale but now with this relaxation people are now relaxed and are not aware that this third wave has already started” , he said .
According to the Zimbabwe Republic Police 2 483 people were arrested for COVID-19 related breaches on Monday . 1860 arrests were for failing to wear masks. Since the onset of the lockdown in March last year the cumulative arrests made now stand at 602 182.