The Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) is set to issue a Retail Sector COVID-19 Protocol Handbook early next week as part of efforts to ensure strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols in retail outlets amid rising COVID-19 cases in the country, 263Chat Business has learnt.
The retail sector membership body early this week wrote to President Emmerson Mnangagwa requesting for a national lockdown following a spike in cases in recent weeks.
“We are rolling out a Retail Sector COVID-19 Protocol Handbook and that hand book should be coming out early next week,” CZR president, Denford Mutashu said in an interview.
“It will be circulated quiet widely across the sector. It is a handbook that was prepared by experts of course taking the information that is already existing as recommended by World Health Organization (WHO) as well as the government’s Ministry of Health and Child Care,”
Retail outlets are some of the potential super-spreaders of the coronavirus if left regulated.
This comes amid growing complacency in the fight against the spread of the virus in some retail shops as witnessed by use of substandard sanitizers, dysfunctional temperature checking machines and complete disregard of social distancing protocols.
“This hand book is very critical because it is our contribution as an association to ensure that each and every store should have that handbook handy and operationalize it by implementing all that which has been recommended and in line with WHO and ministry of Health protocols,” said Mutashu.
The body wants government to impose a national lockdown, increase police visibility in highways and communities to enforce adherence to set guidelines.
As at yesterday, Zimbabwe had 44 306 confirmed cases, including 37 524 recoveries and 1 709 deaths, the Health Ministry said.
Observers are however critical of government taking a slow-paced approach in its vaccination program with only 725 582 people having been vaccinated against COVID-19 to date against a target of 10 million vaccinations by year-end.