The government has warned that it may reintroduce tighter Covid-19 lockdown restrictions to prevent a third wave. This is due to the alarming levels of complacency being displayed by members of the public who are disregarding the need to maintain social distancing and to wear face masks in public.
Officials warned that if people continue misbehaving in urban areas, the government may be forced to reintroduce checkpoints and to require people to have letters of exemption to pass through.
However, the officials made it clear that the government will only reintroduce tighter lockdown restrictions as a last resort. The authorities are also implementing other measures to avert a possible third wave of infections. These other measures include vaccinating people as well as rigorous enforcement of Covid-19 regulations by law enforcement officials.
Speaking to the Sunday Mail, the Chief Co-ordinator of the national response to the Covid-19 pandemic in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Dr Agnes Mahomva said,
“As Government, we are always concerned when people get complacent because that is what led us to the second wave.
“But as our main defence line, now that we have the vaccine, we are speeding up the programme to ensure that we immunise our target number as a way of minimising further infections.
“We are beefing up our teams from the national level to provincial so that more and more people get vaccinated and are educated about the safety of the vaccine.
“As a way of speeding up the process, we have also allowed the private sector to import the vaccine through the Government.”
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi called on people to be responsible, warning that the police will arrest all those disregarding social distancing and not wearing masks.
“We are not going back on arresting those who break the rules, especially those who are not wearing masks and not practising social distancing,” he said.
“We had restricted our patrols and checkpoints to curfew hours, but if things remain like this, yes there is a possibility that we could increase our checkpoints again.
“People need to be responsible, I think that should be a personal choice for the sake of one’s own health.”
Some European countries have said that they are now battling the third wave of coronavirus infections. The head of Germany’s public health agency on Friday warned that a third wave has already begun. Lothar Wieler, head of the Robert Koch Institute for Infectious Diseases, told reporters.
We have clear signs: The third wave in Germany has already begun.”
“The virus is not going to disappear, but once we have a base level of immunity in the population, we can control it.”
Meanwhile, two-thirds of Italy’s population are facing a stringent lockdown from next week as the third wave of the pandemic advances. Schools, restaurants, shops and museums were ordered Friday to close across most of Italy from next week after Prime Minister Mario Draghi warned of a “new wave” of coronavirus infections.