Opinion

It’s business unusual

Who would have imagined that today a virus which was first reported last December in Wuhan, a Chinese central city of 11 million people, would be a global scare making news headlines daily.

In Zimbabwe, the coronavirus which has claimed three locals and tens of thousands of lives across the globe, has become a reality.

Concerned with spread of the respiratory illness, authorities have called for a 21-day national lockdown to minimise risk.

The question is how effective are the current measures.

With the tally of people arrested for violating the lockdown protocols outpacing the just under 400 samples tested for the virus, critics have been asking whether or not Zimbabwe is prepared to deal with the virus.

According to the police 2,885 people have been arrested countrywide for liquor, traffic, opening of businesses, unnecessary movements and other miscellaneous offences.

Across the Limpopo, South Africa has recorded nealy 2,000 cases of people infected with the virus and 13 deaths.

Authorities down south have stepped up the number of tests. The death of a 79-year-old Bulawayo man has become a topical issue.

The poor man’s results were only released after his death on Saturday after he had presented to his doctor earlier on.

The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights on Tuesday demanded an audit on Zimbabwe’s preparedness in fighting the pandemic.

The rights doctors said five days was too long a period to carry out tests.

The lethargic pace in carrying out tests speaks to government’s failure to minimise the spread of the disease.

As the lockdown continues fears are that new cases could soon emerge.

Just last week, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said it was too early to wish away the virus.

He warned that statistics of new cases could soon spike as temperatures fall.

Spare a thought for thousands of people living in squalid conditions.

At Mbare Musika, it’s now business as usual ever since government relaxed regulations for vegetable vendors.

Social distance remains a challenge and this- judging by current figures showing which areas have been affected- poses high risk to rural farmers who come to the market to sell their agricultural commodities.

In their localities, rural hospitals are not only ill-equipped but they also have acute shortages of basic drugs such as painkillers.

On the economic front, it’s now almost inevitable some companies will either scale down operations while fragile ones may unfortunately fold.

Mergers and acquisitions could be vital in the aftermath of the spread of the pandemic—hoping it will be contained.

As Business Times, it’s business unusual.

We will increase our presence on digital platforms, making use of the synergies that we enjoy with sister companies that include ZiFM Stereo, our regional stations Hevoi FM in Masvingo, 98.4 FM in the Midlands just to mention a few.

Our appeal is that we join hands as Zimbabweans in fighting this pandemic.

We will tell the story in the best way we know how. We are in this thing together!

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