Monday, 23 March 2020


Government may want to seriously consider completely banning all public gatherings as it seems people are unfazed by the deadly Covid-19 as most dance floors in Bulawayo were packed with revellers over the weekend.

Even though Government on Saturday confirmed the country’s second Covid-19 case and discouraged people from social gatherings, those warnings clearly fell on deaf ears as the public went out to be merry at various nightspots in the city, and in numbers.

Following the call by Government to limit the number of patrons patronising their spots, one would have expected to see few people, but clearly the call went out of the window. Nightspots in the central business district and its peripheries were teeming with revellers dancing, drinking and partying. 

On Saturday evening, people seemed to have heeded the call earlier in the night, but as the night grew older, more and more people flowed into the nightspots. Perhaps the lure of money in such difficult economic times was too hard for the bar proprietors to resist as they let revellers in without considering the suspension of public gatherings.

To their credit though, the nightspots seemed to have their patrons at heart as they sanitised each person’s hands at the entry points. But with the high volumes of patrons, some were not sanitised upon entry.

Inside the bars, people however were spotted hugging, shaking and holding hands, while others kissed, oblivious of the risk they were putting themselves in with their actions. These were the perfect conditions for the virus to spread as it only takes one infected person to enter the bar and put everyone there at risk.

Also, there was also no effort by the workers at the various spots to sanitise the tables and bar areas as the waiters only wiped the surfaces with regular cloths. 

In the toilets, there were sanitisers, but some people would, after using the toilet, not even wash their hands. The same people would go and start dancing, shake hands and pick ice from buckets to put in their cups.

In South Africa, alcohol is not allowed to be sold after 6PM as a measure to curb the spread of the virus, something that may need to be imposed locally, mostly due to the carefree attitude exhibited by locals.

Another worrying trend of the misconception around the “less than 100 people” allowance needs to be addressed urgently as people now seem to believe that if their gathering has less than 100 people, it means they are not at risk of contracting the virus that has killed thousands of people.

Covid-19 has claimed over 11 000 lives globally with Italy being the hardest hit country.  Chronicle


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