Worry over covid-19 in rural areas

Traditional leaders in Mangwe district of Matabeleland South Province have expressed concern over the level of complacency among people in rural areas despite the rise in covid-19 cases.

A visit by the ZBC News crew to Tshitshi Business Centre in Mangwe district revealed that the locals are still oblivious of the dangers of covid-19 as most were seen without masks, while others seem not to have grasped the importance of social distancing.

Those who spoke to the ZBC News gave varying reasons for the behaviour, despite the surge of covid-19 cases in the country.

“As you can see that I am here enjoying my beer, so how then am I expected to be out drinking with a mask? It doesn’t work!”

Another said: “The fact that the people here have not recorded any covid-related deaths could be a contributing factor to their laxity towards the disease.”

Chief Tshitshi of Mangwe called for heightened enforcement of lockdown measures and covid-19 health preventative measures in rural areas where the level of complacency is high.

“We have tried to disseminate as much information about covid-19, but nothing seems to change. So our appeal is that there should be increased police visibility in rural areas, whom we believe will enforce the law,” he said.

The call by the traditional leader comes as many locals from covid-19 hard hit South Africa flocked back home in December to spend time with their families.

Expectations are high that the stiff lockdown measures announced by government this Saturday will be enforced in rural areas as well to stem the spread of the deadly pandemic.

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