GOVERNMENT yesterday announced that it would enforce tighter COVID-19 lockdown measures and a curfew after COVID-19 cases soared to 9 308 on Monday.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA/VANESSA GONYE
In a post-Cabinet media briefing, Tourism and Environment minister Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndlovu said government was concerned about the spike in COVID-19 cases, adding that tougher enforcement measures were now pivotal.
“The enforcement of lockdown measures will be intensified henceforth. It should be emphasised that where there is non-compliance to these regulations the law enforcement agents will not hesitate to enforce the penalties prescribed,” Ndlovu said.
Schools have been the hardest hit by the sharp increase in COVID-19 cases, especially boarding facilities, with John Tallach High School in Matabeleland North last week recording 121 cases.
Government said it was moving in, especially at schools to ensure that the virus was brought under control.
“Cabinet notes that a number of COVID-19 cases were reported at learning institutions following the full reopening of schools. The nation is advised that measures have been put in place to strengthen protective and preventative measures in boarding school environments,” he said.
Government ordered phase three opening of schools and reopening of institutions of higher learning and industry and commerce after five months of lockdown.
Ndlovu said government’s worry was that many people appeared to be relaxed, which government feared could trigger a second wave of COVID-19 which has been deadly in other countries.
He said government noted with concern that there had been a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in the past three weeks, adding that beerhalls, casinos and betting shops should close.
Meanwhile, Health deputy minister John Mangwiro said there was need to continue to test people in order to fish out those that might be infected, but were asymptomatic.
“We will upscale tracing of contacts and make sure that people are aware that they can carry the virus but may not know that they have it. We need to keep asking people to be more careful,” Mangwiro said.