More than 50 people were last week slapped with heavy fines of up to $9 000 each for flouting Covid-19 control regulations.
Those who indicated that they could not raise the fines risked being jailed for two months resulting in most of them imploring relatives to raise the monies.
Out of the 50, 31 were punished by a Chitungwiza magistrate while some were fined at the Harare Magistrates Court.
Simplisio Chirimba, Paul Taramanya, Constantino Shevedzai, Vusa Chipiro, Allan Butawu were fined $4 000 each or risk being jailed to two months if they failed to pay the fines.
Innocent Murahwa and Innocent Butawu were also fined $4 000 each when they appeared before Harare magistrate Mrs Sharon Rakafa.
Felix Chikanga, Sasha Bepete, Nyasha Joseph and Grace Jonasi were each fined $5 000 when they appeared at the same courts.
Ronald Tsvuura, who was arrested for unnecessary movement during the lockdown, however denied contravening the national lockdown restrictions saying he was arrested on his way home after providing essential services.
Through his lawyer Mr Brighton Pabwe, Tsvuura said he was a truck driver in the food industry and was arrested on his way home after work.
Harare magistrate Mrs Barbra Mateko remanded Tsvuura to February 25 for trial on $1 000 bail.
Mr Lancelot Mutsokoti said on January 6, Tsvuura was arrested at around 9pm while he was on his way home.
He allegedly failed to produce an exemption letter leading to his arrest
Authorities say in light of the daily increase in Covid-19 infections and deaths, people should be compliant with Covi-19 control regulations.
Health and Child Care Deputy Minister Dr John Mangwiro however allayed fears that the health system was overwhelmed by Covid-19 cases.
“Covid-19 is a serious pandemic but we need to follow the guidelines so that we do not exacerbate the spread of the virus.
“Not all Covid-19 patients end up needing hospitalisation. Some might just recover but there are others who end up needing hospitalisation.
“We are admitting those who need hospitalisation, and we are not yet overwhelmed. We still have the capacity to admit patients but those who are negative need to stay safe and those positive must protect the spread,” said Dr Mangwiro.
Vice chairman of the Ad Hoc Inter-Ministerial Taskforce on Covid-19 Professor Amon Murwira said lockdown was a strategy to slow the spread of the pandemic.
He said they anticipated that in 30 days, all the infected persons would have been identified and helped to recuperate without spreading the virus.
“There is no need to fear. The most important thing is never to lose our guard and follow the guidelines put in place to control the virus. We anticipated the rise in infections prior and we are now working on controlling the situation,” said Prof Murwira.
“Lockdowns are our best way forward in combating this virus. If we restrict movement, we believe in 30 days those who are infected would have been identified, assisted to recuperate and will not be spreading the virus when they are staying at home.”
“It was as a result of strategic planning, strategic intelligence that we anticipated a problem before it actually happened. We introduced the lockdown and it is a strategy to contain the geographical infection,” said Prof Murwira.
With a globally approved Covid-19 cure yet to be found, health experts are clear the best way is prevention in response to this respiratory illness.
Health expert, Professor Solwayo Ngwenya, said the problem facing health services across the globe was that when the infection curve rose, it rocketed and quickly overwhelmed health services.
Prof Ngwenya said when people thought they had contained it, it erupted and he implored people never to lose guard.
“The only way people can survive this is through prevention. People must avoid getting sick. Let’s adhere to lockdowns, let us not visit anyone.
“If you get sick there are two ways; either you recover or you die. Let us avoid the Covid storm. No one has the capacity to handle it when it finally comes,” said Prof Ngwenya.
Meanwhile, the business sector has implored the Government to issue generic exemption letters to representative associations which will then cascade to private enterprises.