That illegal public transporters seem to pose the greatest risk in the fight against a pending third wave of Covid-19 is both worrying and disappointing.
Instead of five passengers Mushikashika vehicles like Honda Fits and Toyota Wish vehicles are loading up to 12 people with zero social distancing and usually closed windows on account of the cold weather.
This is posing a health risk that can easily see the Harare Covid-19 cases surge.
To make matters worse, some double-cab trucks, kombis and Fun Cargo vehicles have joined in illegally transporting commuters in defiance of Covid-19 regulations.
The police may need to commit time and resources to ending this mushikashika menace if not for its illegality then certainly for the threat it poses to the country’s health status as Covid-19 can easily spread through the shenanigans of these illegal transport operators.
Covid-19 is still out there, posing the same risks to individuals and the country at large and we cannot have people’s lives at risk because of illegal operations.
The active cases are still too many for a country like ours and deaths should still be reduced to zero.
For this to happen all the basics about the pandemic should still be followed.
Informal traders who wish to operate under the new conditions must ensure that they meet government and WHO guidelines.
We must remember that these measures are for our own good.
Observing social distancing is of utmost importance in efforts to curb Covid-19 and this is not possible with illegal transport operators who are forcing 12 people into small vehicles.
However, what is even more important is observing other basic lockdown conditions like the wearing of facemasks, staying home, social distancing, use of sanitisers, and closure of bars and beer halls as these remain unchanged.
Let us stick to the basics.
This means we are covering our mouth and nose with a mask to prevent coughing or sneezing into nearby people or surfaces. This means we are avoiding touching our faces because our hands are the easiest way to spread or catch the virus through.
This means we are washing our hands regularly to avoid spreading of the virus.
It also means we are not getting too close to people and are maintaining social distancing. We are leaving a space of two meters between us and the next person. We are avoiding visiting people – be they close friends and or relatives.
We are staying at home with our family but even with them, we are keeping a distance out of care that the virus may spread to the people we love most.
There is need for an operation to stop mushikashikas and anyone who threatens the gains the country has been making in the fight against this pandemic.