INFORMATION, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said last night in her post-Cabinet briefing that the prevalence of security checkpoints was consistent with the directive of the Covid-19 National Taskforce to ensure that people stay at home if they had no essential business to conduct.
The tightening of checks by the security services follows an increase in the number of people in central business districts of all towns and cities across the country, especially as more companies and sectors are exempted from the lockdown.
Police have reported that there are growing numbers of people not in essential or exempted services moving around, particularly in city centres.
Addressing the media last night, Mutsvangwa said: “We are also making sure to prevent gatherings. The President has announced that we are still at Level Two, which still prohibits big gatherings, beyond 50 people.
“As much as our President has opened the economy to make sure that industry operates, we still have to make sure that we do adhere to the containment measures, otherwise the disease will spread.
“And we are still telling our people to stay at home, and only go out there when it is very important,” said Mutsvangwa.
“What the police is doing is in line with what the taskforce has put in place and we are all singing from the same hymn book.
“If there are particular cases being referred to, we would be interested as a ministry to get that information so that we can deal with that particular case. Otherwise we still stand with the containment measures of level two,” she said.
The checking of motorists and Zupco passengers in the morning peak hour was taking time with very long queues forming at some roadblocks. Police, with support of the army, were at some roadblocks, particularly in Bulawayo, turning back some people in services deemed essential, as well as those in exempted sectors and companies.
At other roadblocks, almost everyone in essential and exempted services was being allowed through without a problem, but the process was time consuming.
Later in the day most roadblocks in most urban areas had speeded up the checking processes and were not blocking those who could show they were in essential services or exempted businesses and needed to be in the city centres or transit the city centres to move from their home on one side to their place of work on the other side.
The daily Covid-19 statistics issued yesterday recorded four new cases, all among quarantined returning residents from South Africa, bringing the cumulative total to 391.
The number of people who have been confirmed as fully recovered is now 62, cutting the number of active cases to 325, with the death toll remaining at four.