Vice President Constantino Chiwenga says the current 30-day COVID-19 induced lockdown might not be extended if cases reduce to manageable levels although the current statistics show the contrary.
Zimbabwe has been a concerning increase in the number of COVID-19 cases over the last seven days with over 400 cases and 2000 deaths having been recorded during this lockdown.
Chiwenga announced a lockdown 10 days ago that would lapse on 5 February but the cases have shot up the roof with yesterday being the deadliest as 47 people succumbed to the virus while 1112 cases were recorded, the most in a single day since the virus was recorded in March 2020.
Concerns have been raised about the lockdown, which some feel disenfranchises the poor who survive on hand to mouth.
Chiwenga, however, said he is aware of the gravity and impacts of the lockdown on the poor.
“I am aware that lockdown measures do hurt the socio-economic livelihoods, freedoms, rights and liberties of individuals. Nevertheless, they may be necessary if some of our citizens display nonchalant behaviour.
“Honestly, would you require Security Forces to persuade you to conform to some of these basic guidelines? We are not interested in arresting our people, therefore I urge you to reawaken internal discipline
He further stated if cases are reduced, the might not be a need to extend beyond the current limit.
He, however, warned that the people should not relax and take the virus for granted.
“There might not be any need of extending the 30-day National Lockdown if the progression of the pandemic is tamed. However, let me warn my fellow countrymen that current statistics are indicating a marginal increase in new cases.
“The total Confirmed Cases continued to mount. The prevailing situation is posing a grave threat to public health as denoted by a summary of figures contained in the table. Our citizens should not slacken. We should continue to observe guidelines of wearing masks, observing social distance and sanitization,” Chiwenga warned.
Most people continue to defy the lockdown measures as most non-essential workers are now flocking back into the various central business districts across the country.
Chiwenga took a swipe at the recent case where some music promoters held a super spreader event in Mbare.
“If all our people maintained a positive attitude towards measures to combat the coronavirus, there was not going to be any need for imposition of a National Lockdown,” he said