Don’t put the country under lockdown, EMCOZ pleads with Government

by | Jun 28, 2021 | COVID 19 | 0 comments

Pretty Manyewe

Despite the increase in number of new infections and presence of a new Covid-19 wave, the Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe (EMCOZ) has pleaded with Government not to impose a stringent national lockdown.

Instead, they suggested that authorities keep the present surgical lockdowns focusing only on hotspots.
In a statement, EMCOZ President Dr Israel Murefu said some businesses may not survive another abrupt break in operations.

“A blanket national lockdown with tight restrictions on access to workplaces will reverse the gains in productivity that we had started witnessing in the economy. Reducing working hours in the retail sectors make the retailing outlets more crowded since the same number of shoppers need to do their shopping in the reduced hours hence increasing risks,” said Dr Murefu.

He went on to highlight regulations that the Government can impose to curb the spread of COVID-19 without disrupting the current progress in the growth of the economy.

“We recommend therefore retail outlets to operate between 8am to 5pm to reduce overcrowding. A review of curfew hours to run from 7pm to 5am to allow movement of those in essential services would minimize disruptions to production time. Drivers entrusted with responsibilities of ferrying other employees should be exempted from curfew hours to facilitate their traveling from work to home.”

The public transport system has been seen as one of the triggers of the spike in cases by observers, EMCOZ shares the same sentiment.

“We appeal for more transport to be made available to reduce overcrowding in public transport facilities and private transporters who demonstrate capacity to comply with all COVID-19 protocols should be allowed to operate to reduce pressure on ZUPCO buses. We encourage authorizes to step up awareness campaigns in identified areas to contain the spread of the virus,” wrote Dr Murefu.

His suggestion is in contradiction with recommendations given by the Denford Mutashu led Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers which said a lockdown at the moment is the best response to the intense Covid-19 phase the region is approaching.