Tuesday, 6 October 2020

ED : COVID-19 STILL WITH US

ZIMBABWEANS should continue observing health guidelines to combat the spread of Covid-19 because the global pandemic is still a serious threat and any complacency could trigger a second wave, President Mnangagwa has said.

In his address during the burial of national hero, Brigadier-General Ruphus Chigudu at the National Heroes Acre yesterday, the President said Government valued life above anything else and will continue to take appropriate measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.

“Cde Chigudu knew the value of peace,” he said. “We pay tribute to him by cherishing peace, perfect peace in our land. In this regard, I commend us the people of Zimbabwe for upholding peace, tranquillity, love and harmony which our late national hero fought for.

“Meanwhile, I would like to urge us to continue observing the laid down Covid-19 lockdown measures. The novel pandemic is still with us.”

Elaborating on why Government had halted all by-elections in the country due to the Covid-19 pandemic, President Mnangagwa said: “We must not allow complacency to trigger a relapse. We value life above all else. Voting and democracy are enjoyed by the living, not the sick, dying or dead.”

Last week, Government indefinitely suspended by-elections to fill vacancies in Parliament or local authorities, as the country was still to wither the Covid-19 storm.

In the SI 225A of 2020, Government said the suspension of electoral activities will stand during the period of the declaration of Covid-19 as a formidable epidemic disease.

“It is hereby notified that the Minister of Health has in terms of section 68 of the Public Health Act (Chapter 15:17), made the following regulations: These regulations may be cited as the Public Health (Covid-19 Prevention, Containment and Treatment) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (no.4)

“The Public Health (Covid-19 Prevention, Containment and Treatment) Regulations, 2020, published in Statutory Instrument 77 of 2020 (“the principal regulations”) are amended in Section 3 (“Declaration of Covid-19 as a Formidable Epidermis Disease”) by the insertion of the following subsection after subsection (2)

“Pursuant to the subsection (2), the holding of any by-election to fill a casual vacancy in Parliament or in a local authority is for the duration of the period of the declaration of Covid-19 as a formidable epidemic disease, suspended, and if such vacancy occurred while such declaration is in force, no part of the period from the date of such vacancy to the date of the end of declaration shall be counted for the purposes of Section 158(3) of the Constitution” read the SI.

And true to the Covid-19 World Health Organisations (WHO) regulations, only a few people were allowed to attend Cde Chigudu’s burial yesterday, with temperatures of the attendants being screened, while hands were being sanitised.

Mourners observed social distancing and throughout the burial ceremony on a sunny day, wore face masks that have become ubiquitous around the country, as Zimbabweans take heed of the strict measures to contain the global plague.

Due to the swift Government intervention to impose lockdown measures and also a campaign for the observance of the Covid-19 lockdown measures, the country has registered low deaths and high recoveries compared to some other countries. 

Only close relatives, senior Government officials and colleagues attended the interment of Cde Chigudu.

At the burial ceremony, family representative, Chief Chigudu, thanked President Mnangagwa and Government for conferring national hero status on his brother.

Chief Chigudu, who is also a retired Major in the Zimbabwe National Army, described his brother as an obedient and trusted cadre who would be missed in the family.

“He was an obedient and trusted cadre,” he said. “I used to interact with him while I was still in the army. He had passion in education.”

Chief Chigudu said there were other 18 members of their family who participated in the liberation struggle.

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