Friday, 30 October 2020

COVID-19 : 15 BAR OWNERS ARRESTED

OVER 300 people had, by Wednesday, been arrested in Bulawayo for public drinking, while 15 bar owners were also detained for operating after hours in violation of Covid-19 regulations.

According to regulations, members of the public are allowed to buy beer and drink at home but defiant bars and nightclubs in the city are allowing patrons to drink in the bars until late at night thereby risking spreading the virus.

The arrests, according to police, were made from last week Friday. Acting Bulawayo police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Nomalanga Msebele said those who were arrested were fined.

“There were over 300 people arrested for public drinking from last week Friday until today (Wednesday). On top of that, we have arrested 15 owners of beerhalls and bottle stores for operating after hours, permitting patrons to drink inside the bottle store and beerhall,” said Asst Insp Msebele.

Ass Insp Msebele urged people and bar owners to adhere to regulations aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19.

“We’d like to urge people and bar owners not to flout Covid-19 regulations. They should operate within the law so that they don’t find themselves on the wrong side of the law,” said Asst Insp Bulawayo’s night life, has of late, since bars and restaurants were given the green light to reopen, come alive, with hordes of people looking for fun.

Outside bottle stores in the city, the story is the same as many people congregate and drink their fill, clearly flouting regulations, oblivious of the dangers of Covid-19.

The city has recorded an increase in new Covid-19 cases and now has the highest number of active cases in the country.

According to the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Bulawayo has almost half of the country’s active Covid-19 cases at 123 while the national figure stood at 269 as of Tuesday. The city has recorded 52 deaths.

In council’s weekly top 10 Covid-19 hotspots log sheet, Bulawayo’s city centre is a Covid-19 hotspot with 27 active cases, while Entumbane and Nkulumane lead with three deaths each from Covid-19. The most recent death (one) was on Sunday.

Of the total active Covid-19 cases in Bulawayo, seven are in Mpopoma and three in Entumbane. Worldwide, the opening of bars and leisure spots has been identified as the root cause of spikes in new infections.

According to NewStatesman newspaper, the United Kingdom’s chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, informed MPs that the number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care in northern England might surpass the April peak — and that one of the main culprits was the hospitality industry.

Whitty showed the MPs unpublished figures that suggested pubs, bars, restaurants and caf├ęs accounted for 30 percent of common exposure settings in England, with the figure rising to 41 percent for those under the age of 30. Chronicle

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