By Joyce Mukucha
Making reference to the new measures announced by Hon VP and Minister of Health and Child Care Minister Dr.Constantino Chiwenga to combat the rise in Covid-19 positive cases, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) has applauded the government for stepping in by invoking tough measures to stop a looming catastrophe amid rising cases of the pandemic.
The measures include a 6 pm to 6 am curfew and that essential services should operate between 8 am and 3 pm daily.
Other commercial services, that is all formal businesses and registered informal traders are suspended for 30 days with effect from January 5, 2021. The measures were backed by Statutory Instrument 10 of 2021.
The CZR president, Denford Mutashu said his organisation believes that Zimbabwe will flatten the curve if everyone has hands on the deck.
“We are in an extraordinary situation which calls for extraordinary measures and discarding the business as usual approach, therefore, we should adhere to COVID-19 guidelines.
“The measures are necessary to save lives. H.E President Emmerson Mnangagwa is on record as saying it is better to save lives than the economy as “the economy can die and it can be resuscitated now or in future”. President Mnangagwa has in the past said he has never seen “a conference where people are discussing how to resuscitate the dead,” Mutashu said.
CZR also called upon members of the public to adhere to the new measures which mean opening and closing shops within stipulated timelines.
Mandatory wearing of facemasks, he highlighted, was crucial and he also stressed that there was a need for genuine Covid-19 testing certificates for all staff to combat the spread of the pandemic.
He added that “Moreso, disinfection certificates for premises and work stations should be displayed at all times. Retailers are urging members to only allow 50% staff to report for duty at any time to decongest shops and promote social distancing.”
Some shops, he said, were negligent to such an extent that some customers are no longer sanitising at entry points let alone have their temperature taken. The businessman said this must stop forthwith under the new measures.
Mutashu underscored the fact that CZR continues to provide exemption letters for essential services and product providers like supermarkets.