Zimbabwe: Bulawayo Records Increase in Active Covid-19 Cases

Bulawayo has recorded a sharp increase in Covid-19 active cases since the relaxation of lockdown restrictions by government in March this year.

Speaking at the Bulawayo Metropolitan inter-ministerial Covid-19 taskforce meeting Tuesday, Bulawayo Metropolitan Provincial Development Coordinator Paul Nyoni said the province currently has 133 active Covid-19 cases.

“The number of current cases raises concern as active cases had fallen below 20 around the middle of March which means there is now a significant increase in cases.

“However, the number of fatalities increased at a much slower rate as 12 new deaths have been registered over the past 21 days,” said Nyoni.

He said as at 29 March 2021, the province had a cumulative total of 5 464 cases which translated into an increase of 132 over three weeks.

“That data should trigger alarm bells at the increase in the last two weeks resulting in the 133 active cases.

“There is need for current restrictions to be enforced more strictly especially the limits on gathering which are now being treated as a suggestion rather than a regulation,” said the Provincial Coordinator.

He cited the Central Registry offices in the city and the illegal transport operators as some of the main drivers of the infections.

“The Central Registry in Bulawayo remains an area of concern as hundreds were gathering every day for documentation. After engagements with management, a system of giving applicants dates on which to come is being implemented and this has seen a significant reduction in the crowding,” he said.

Nyoni said ZUPCO was failing to cope with the number of commuters in the city, a development which he said had resulted in the mushrooming of illegal private transport commonly known as mushikashika.

“The illegal transport operators are another area of concern and it is one of those areas where regulations have to be applied.

“These operators overload and there is no sanitisation as they operate outside the law. The major reason for this is inadequacy of public transport,” said Nyoni.

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