By Alois Vinga
POLICE have been forced to tighten their Covid-19 restrictions amid concerns some locals were now engaging in risky behaviour such as holding binge beer-drinking parties and not wearing face masks.
In a statement Saturday, police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said since March 30 2020 they had arrested a total of 104 349 people for violating national lockdown measures.
As of Saturday, confirmed Covid-19 cases stood at 1 487, including 25 deaths.
Last Thursday, 478 people were arrested for unnecessary movement while 304 were arrested for failing to wear face masks.
“With immediate effect police and other security services have tightened enforcement of lockdown measures and we expect the public to cooperate, especially with the increase in new Covid-19 infections with 273 people testing positive for the virus on July 16, 2020,” he said.
The police spokesperson said authorities are disturbed by the number of people who are being arrested for failing to wear face masks, making unnecessary movements, and unlawful gatherings.
“There is an increase in the number of people in the high-density suburbs with shebeens and backyard beer-drinking binges becoming commonplace,” he said.
Nyathi also accused cross-border truck drivers of contravening national lockdown regulations, and since June 1, 2020, is now at 79.
Six people were arrested along the Nyamapanda Border area in Mudzi district, Mashonaland East province for illegal border crossing while one person was arrested at Beitbridge Border Post for smuggling.
Also last Thursday, two deportees escaped from the Inyathi Training quarantine centre in Matabeleland North province.
“Let us all play our part in ensuring that we minimise the effects of this deadly pandemic through a deduction of unnecessary movements, observing social distance, wearing face of masks, shunning of illegal beer outlets and gatherings,” said Nyathi.