Monday, 17 August 2020

COVID -19 : SHEBEENS, HOUSE PARTIES A HIT IN BYO


CHURCHES in Bulawayo have expressed concern over the mushrooming of shebeens and house parties saying these could be vehicles for spreading Covid-19.

An increasing number of people are now drinking at shebeens while others are holding house parties in defiance of lockdown regulations.

Government shut down leisure centres including bars and nightclubs in March as part of measures to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Announcing the tightened lockdown regulations that include a dusk to dawn curfew recently, President Mnangagwa said Government was slowing down on opening other sectors of the economy in order to save lives. 

The church says it has noted with concern that some members of the public were disregarding Covid-19 regulations thereby exposing themselves to the risk of contracting the virus.

Recently council instituted an investigation after an alleged house party triggered local transmission among illegal money changers.

Zimbabwe Christian Alliance executive director Reverend Useni Sibanda, said his organisation has engaged pastors to educate the public on the dangers of violating Covid-19 regulations.

Rev Sibanda said the public should be concerned with the rising Covid-19 cases. 

“The major issue for local communities is awareness because it is clear that a lot of people are not taking Covid-19 seriously. There are social behaviours that are a Covid-19 threat which members of the public should avoid. We still have people patronising shebeens in the townships while others are holding parties thereby violating Covid-19 regulations,” he said.

Rev Sibanda said pastors have been tasked to move around with hailers educating members of the public on the dangers of violating Covid-19 regulations.

“ Members of the public need to change behaviour if we are to contain the spread of the pandemic,” said Rev Sibanda.

He said in view of the increased local transmissions, they have also engaged Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Judith Ncube, to lobby her counterparts to increase the Zupco fleet in the city.

“The other challenge that we have raised with the Provincial Minister is the issue of inadequate public transport which we believe could be contributing to the spread of the virus. The Government should increase Zupco buses to reduce crowding at pick up points,” said Rev Sibanda.

The church on Friday donated personal protective equipment, sanitizers and liquid soap to Bulawayo quarantine centres as part of its contributions to fighting the pndemic.
Rev Sibanda said the church has a duty in the fight against Covid-19 and was trying to address some of the shortcomings.

“We have provided about 8 000 litres of both sanitisers and liquid soap, 50 buckets and more than 1000 masks as well as awareness raising material. This is going to be a monthly donation to the quarantine centres. We are targeting Bulawayo, Plumtree and Beitbridge which are the worst affected by returnees from South Africa and Botswana,” said Rev Sibanda. Chronicle

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