ZRP issues warning over masks

Source: ZRP issues warning over masks | Herald (Africa)

Asst Comm Nyathi

Crime Reporter

The Zimbabwe Republic Police has expressed concern over an increase in the number of people who are moving around countrywide while not wearing face masks in violation of Covid-19 regulations.

According to police, they have realised this increase following the relaxation of strict lockdown measures by Government last week.

So far more than 455 000 people have been arrested countrywide for violating lockdown regulations related offences since March last year.

The huge number of daily arrests was recorded at a time police had intensified patrols and roadblock checks throughout the country.

Most of the offenders were fined at police stations, while others were sent to court for trial.

Harare, Manicaland and Bulawayo continue to have the highest numbers of arrests.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the police will not hesitate to arrest anyone found violating national lockdown regulations.

“The ZRP has noted with great concern an increase in the number of people being arrested for failure to wear face masks countrywide since the relaxation of strict lockdown measures by the Government.
“A total of 1 186 people were arrested on March 1, 2021 alone while 1 965 others on March 2, 2021 and 2 122 on March 3, 2021. Members of the public are advised to observe all health and safety protocols aimed at reducing the spread of the deadly Covid-19,” he said.

Last week, President Mnangagwa re-opened Zimbabwe’s economy following almost two months of level four lockdown restrictions that brought most businesses to a standstill after a second and more intense wave of the Covid-19 infections that has now largely been beaten back.

While most economic activities have been allowed to resume, including those in the informal sector, and the education sector is preparing to re-open — all under tight World Health Organisation Covid-19 protocols — social gatherings remain limited to not more than 50 people and bars and nightclubs remain shut as the country keeps guard against any form of complacency.