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Rights Doctors Flag Govt For Weak Covid-19 Lockdown Measures

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By Alois Vinga


THE Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) has raised concerns over non-compliance to Covid-19 lockdown regulations by some citizens.

The measures were imposed by government a week ago following a surge in fresh Covid-19 cases.

Under the measures, only sectors deemed essential services were exempted from the 30-day lockdown measures.

In a statement Saturday, the doctors group indicated there was a lot of non-compliance among some locals while urging stricter controls by authorities.

“The current lockdown measures announced by government, though welcome, may not provide the much-needed impact in breaking the Covid-19 chain of transmission and help in flattening the Covid- 19 curve.

“In a snap survey conducted by ZADHR on the 1st day of the lockdown, many non-essential retailers were in operation across the country.

“Additionally, human traffic was witnessed at the country’s borders and in inter-provincial travels,” said the doctors group.

ZADHR also says there were too many loopholes on letters authorising movement amid reports some retailers were being granted exemption letters to operate in unclear circumstances.

“We reiterate that the scientific basis of a lockdown is predicated upon limiting most, if not all human movement for a period of 14 to 21 days.

“Furthermore, the government must identify provincial hotspots and have tailored measures or different levels of the lockdown depending on the incidence of Covid-19,” the doctors said.

The association suggested the limiting of interprovincial travel and setting the demand of COVID 19 certificates for all local travel from all hotspots.

The group also condemned government’s decision to allow air travel during the current period owing to the threat of the new strains of Covid-19 from South Africa and the UK.

Doctors urged government to apply proactive measures as opposed to merely reacting to situations.

“The high numbers of travellers during the festive season from these two countries, stricter measures were supposed to have been put in place prior to the holidays,” said the association.