POLICE in Bulawayo have warned residents against defying the recently announced stricter Covid-19 regulations amid reports that the country continues to record a spike in new infections.
Zimbabwe on Saturday recorded 407 new Covid-19 cases, the highest daily figure since the pandemic outbreak.
Vice President Costantino Chiwenga who is also the Minister of Health and Child Care announced the stricter regulations on Saturday.
Since the onset of the festive season, new cases and deaths have been shooting up with fears that the second wave could be worse.
The Ministry of Health and Child Care said the number of Covid 19 cases and deaths almost doubled in two months from about 8 000 in November to about 14 000 by end of December.
Government as part of measures to contain the pandemic has banned gatherings such as weddings and church services and restricted numbers attending a funeral to a maximum of 30 people.
Bars, bottle stores, gymnasiums and restaurants have been closed for 30 days except hotel restaurants serving guests.
VP Chiwenga said measures have been put in place to ensure the announced regulations are strictly enforced.
The regulations include proper wearing of face masks, social distancing, hand sanitisation and temperature checks.
Only essential services are to remain open such as hospitals, pharmacies and supermarkets, with only essential staff allowed to come to work.
The services are only open between 8 am and 3pm and the new curfew hours are from 6pm to 6am.
Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube said police will striclty enforce the new regulations.
“We are calling on members of the public to adhere to the new restrictions announced which are effective from today. We call on them to cooperate so that together we fight the pandemic that is claiming lives daily,” said Insp Ncube.
He said people intending to travel to Bulawayo must also familiarise with the announced restrictions as police will not hesitate to arrest any offenders.
“We will also ensure that residents adhere to curfew times and what this means is that people should be at their homes between 6pm and 6am,” he said.
Mpilo acting chief executive officer Professor Solwayo Ngwenya commended the Government for the lockdown saying it will save lives.
“These figures recorded on Saturday are very high with six of the eight deaths recorded in one place.
“These figures are extremely worrying and we know the situation is worse in communities where people have not yet been tested,” he said.