Government says green markets are increasingly becoming hotspots for the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The pandemic has devastated social and economic life across the globe, with over 18 million confirmed cases and around 690 000 deaths.
Locally, total confirmed cases as at August 3, 2020 stood at 3921.
There has also been a jump in ‘local cases statistics’, which, as of 2 July 2020, stood at 2828, a 98 percent increase from last week’s figure of 1426.
Official figures show that most of the local cases are in Harare (1227), Bulawayo (897), Midlands Province (237) and Mash East (157).
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Minister Monica Mutsvangwa, in an update today, said Green Markets has contributed to ths increase in local cases.
“An analysis of COVID19 hotspots continues to be made across the country in order to channel the proper resources to these hotspots.
“The latest hotspots to be analyzed are the Fresh Vegetable markets in Harare and Bulawayo. It was noted that persons from different environs visit these markets and testing would give an indication of infection rates,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
“The Harare Rapid Response Teams conducted tests at Mbare Musika yesterday and today and of those tested, 7 (8.75%) were positive.
“It was also noted that there is high risks posed by these markets which include: crowding of clients, poor sanitation conditions for vendors and no easy donning of masks by the general public and vendors.
“This errant behavior in the form of continued disregard of COVID19 containment measures which includes physical distancing, wearing of face masks and sanitization is also being witnessed in public spaces such as supermarkets, malls and banking halls.”
In response, Government said 4 additional teams Rapid Response Teams are now being established.
These include 2 for Chitungwiza, 1 for Ruwa and 1 for Epworth.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has allocated Harare ZWL$10 million, Bulawayo ZWL$6 million and Chitungwiza ZWL$2.5 million for the COVID19 teams especially for Rapid Response Teams.