POLICE yesterday said more than 4 000 people were arrested within two days for not wearing face masks in public following the relaxation of Covid-19 lockdown measures.
President Mnangagwa on Monday relaxed Covid-19 level four national lockdown to allow for more economic activity after the measures that were implemented in January had worked to restrict Covid-19 infections.
Announcing the relaxed Covid-19 measures, President Mnangagwa said the public should remain on guard to ensure that the country does not record another spike in cases.
The President urged members of the public to adhere to Covid-19 prevention measures which include wearing of face masks, social distancing and washing of hands.
Following the easing of lockdown regulations, police have sounded concern that members of the public are becoming complacent and their actions could trigger a Covid-19 third wave.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said what is worrying is that members of the public want to follow regulations just when they are in the presence of law enforcement agents.
“We need people to really comply with the law so that we do not experience a third wave of Covid-19 in the country.
But worryingly, we are recording an increase in the number of Covid-19 prevention measures violators. If you check on March 3, over 1 900 people were arrested for not wearing face masks and yesterday (Thursday) 2 122 were arrested for not wearing face masks which is sad,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.
“People are not taking the issue of Covid-19 seriously. They are taking for granted the issue of wearing masks. We want to implore the public to put their safety and that of others first and wear their masks whenever one is engaged in any activity in the public.”
He called for behaviour change among members of the public saying it was not enough to follow regulations for the police.
“When it comes to the issue of wearing of masks, social distancing, we have observed that the people want to be forced by the police yet we are saying following of regulations is for the health of everyone that we observe these World Health Organisation, these Government protocols. There is no need for one to be complacent, there is no need for one to wait for the police to follow regulations. There is no need to play hide and seek because Covid-19 does not play hide and seek,” he said.
Asst Comm Nyathi also warned members of the public against violating the curfew.
He said all the measures being imposed by the Government are for their protection hence there is no need for them to be forced to comply.