By Tapiwa Rubaya
This time last year, most parts of the world had already entered into lockdown mode due to a new lethal invisible enemy. Life as we know it changed forever all because of the covid-19 pandemic.
Political leaders and scientists had confirmed that the world was now facing a new kind of war, not a political war however it had to do with the health of the citizens of the world.
The 22nd of March 2020, marked a new era for the Southern Africa’s landlocked country of Zimbabwe as an annoucement was made by the Ministry of Health and Child Care, that the country had recorded it’s first COVID 19 case.
Shock and fear of the unknown rippled across Zimbabwe and the question on was on everybody’s mind- what will happen next?
Below is a summary of the events from the day 1 when the first covid 19 case was announced in Zimbabwe :
22nd March 2020-the first covid 19 case was confirmed
23rd March 2020-Closure of Zimbabwe’s borders to all non essential travel and Bars etc
27th of March 2020 –National Lockdown
17th of May 2020-Companies And Private Sector Have Been Allowed To Operate Upon Fulfilling Certain Conditions
22July 2020-New Lockdown Measures
2nd January-29th February New Editional Lockdown Measures .
Since the introduction of the ‘national lockdown on the 23rd of March 2020 by the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and the annoucement of the 1st covid-19 case, Zimbabwe has adapted to the new normal way of life.
However not all changes are favourable or are easy to adapt too .
As of March 3 this year more than 2122 number of people were arrested for breaking the Covid-19 pandemic regulations [source Pindula News].
(1186 on the 1st of March and 1196 on the 2nd of March [source Pindula news].
Among those who have been arrested include politicians, religious leaders, celebrities and members of the public.
Part of the new rules include political or social gatherings of no more than 30 or 50 people. Leaving politicians and church leaders to rely on the use of internet via live streaming to share their messages with their followers.
No one has ever imagined inviting their leaders of faith or politicians speaking to them while they are in the comfort of their homes. Or even musicians performing live from their studios to a virtual audience of tens of thousands.
Who will forget the PPV [Pay Per View] shows done by Janet Manyowa (Zimbabwean Award Winning Gospel Artist), Winky Dee and Jah Prayzah (multi award winning Zimbabwean International Artists).
Work evolved into remote working and virtual meetings thanks to applications like Zoom and Google meet.
Since the first case of the COVID-19 pandemic it has become mandatary for EVERYONE who is in the country to wear a mask in all public areas or risk being arrested and fined.
All public and private companies and shop retailers are to check temperatures of people coming in the buildings and also sanitize their hands .
In addition, the public should following the WHO (World Health Organisation) Covid-19 regulations. No more shaking of hands when greeting each other, it’s the new law.
Zimbabweans have founded new ways of greeting each other without shaking hands as this is a way of preventing the spread of the COVID 19 virus . In an investigation made by My Afrika magazine journalist, they observed that a number of children below the age of 6 are not wearing masks.
Especially in public places, even though they will be under guardianship of someone above the age of 16.
In an interview with some members of the public,they described this as ignorance of some parents who believe ,they are preventing themselves from the virus while they are risking the lives of their children .
Besides that, it’s now part of everyone in Zimbabwe to wear a mask and also to check on one another if they are doing well. With most text messages on people’s phones start by asking how they are surviving and if they are safe. Currently Zimbabwe is rolling out a vaccine programmes with the Sinopharm vaccine