Residents in constant fear as COVID-19 cases rise

Residents from Entumbane and Mpopoma suburbs in Bulawayo have said there is need to further enforce strict lockdown measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 amid a recent spike of confirmed positive cases in the two high-density suburbs.

In the past weeks, Entumbane suburb has recorded over 27 confirmed cases with a total of three deaths, whereas Mpopoma suburb has 15 confirmed cases and one death.

Residents who spoke to Infocus News said coronavirus cases are fast rising and are ready to welcome strict lockdown measures in order to curb the spread of the virus.

Twasile Ncube (63) from Mpopoma said as residents they were calling for strict lockdown measures to ensure their safety.

“As residents in Mpopoma we no longer feel safe. These cases are fast rising. Should the government decide to tighten lockdown restrictions in our communities, we would welcome the move because a lot of damage could be done if no action is taken in these suburbs,” she said.

Another resident from Mpopoma, Anesu Munemo (21) stated that residents are being complacent in ensuring they are practicing the basic precautionary measures that are fundamental in containing the spread of the disease.

Munemo said several people do not adhere to the lockdown precautionary measures as most of them do not wear masks regularly or practice social distancing.

“I think that residents from this Ward do not realize that the coronavirus disease is upon us and it kills. You will find many people roaming around without wearing their masks or practicing social distancing. They are putting everyone’s lives at risk because they could easily spread the virus or better yet contract it,” said Munemo.

Munemo added: “We need stricter lockdown restrictions because a few days back the number of cases in our suburb rose significantly and this is an indication that if people do not take the matter seriously a lot of us are going to die.”

Sikhethabahle Dube from Ward 10 cautioned residents to adhere to the lockdown regulations, saying the deaths from Entumbane suburb should be a wake-up call to all residents who thought the virus will not catch them.

“It is time people practiced all the necessary precautionary measures so that together as a community we stop the spread of the virus,” she said.

Bulawayo Ward 10 Councilor Sinikiwe Mutanda said she has been working closely with residents associations to raise awareness on the virus.

“As a Ward, we have created groups on WhatsApp and Facebook in order to create awareness on COVID-19. We are trying to reach out to more people through sending coronavirus related messages,” she said.

Mutanda said: “We realize that as a Ward we have so far recorded the highest number of COVID- 19 related deaths. So, we are trying to discourage public gatherings as much as possible to suppress the spread of the virus.”

Mutanda urged community leaders to initiate COVID-19 awareness programs in their respective wards in order to stop the spread of the pandemic.

Source: Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD)