By Miriam Mangwaya
RESIDENTS of Chivhu have expressed concern over failure by authorities to control overcrowding at banks and supermarkets in the central business district amid a rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country.
According to a survey conducted by NewsDay yesterday, most banks and supermarkets were crowded with people who were neglecting social distancing while others were not even wearing masks.
Yesterday, Zimbabwe had 2 512 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 34 deaths. Currently, Chikomba district has no recorded COVID-19 case after all the patients in isolation recovered and were released to their homes.
Residents, who spoke to NewsDay, said they feared a surge in COVID-19 cases in the district if the situation was not controlled since overcrowding posed a high risk of transmission of the deadly virus.
One resident, Cosmas Mapiye, a vendor, said it was necessary for authorities to tighten lockdown regulations since COVID-19 cases were on the rise in the country.
“Law enforcement officers should ensure that people do not get in town unnecessarily to ensure that people adhere to the lockdown regulations and avoid overcrowding in the central business district,” he said.
But another resident, Elisha Marufu, said poor service delivery at some retail shops and banks was the major cause of overcrowding in the central business district.
“Service providers should efficiently provide their services so that people don’t take long while queuing at their premises,” he said.
Acting Chikomba district COVID-19 taskforce chairperson Monica Mutimba said she was organising resources so that they could carry out awareness campaigns in public areas throughout the district.
“There is need to continue educating residents on dangers of COVID-19. The district taskforce is scheduled to carry out awareness campaigns to residents at all business centres in the district this week. Meanwhile, I will talk to shop and bank managers to address the issue of overcrowding,” she said.