Bruce Ndlovu, Sunday News Reporter
GOVERNMENT shall enforce tighter monitoring regime on the country’s food markets to prevent the spread of Covid-19, with the restructuring of bays and the weekly disinfection of markets among the measures meant to slow down the spread of the virus.
Presenting the 27th Post-Cabinet press briefing, the Minister of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Dr Sithembiso Nyoni, said that Government had noticed the laxity in the observance of public health safeguards necessitated by Covid-19, has the need to refocus on the operation food markets.
Food markets were reopened in April after they were initially closed when the country went into lock down in March.
“As a precautionary measure to curb the transmission of Covid-19 at food markets, which are characterised by crowding, poor sanitisation and lack of reticulated water, Cabinet resolved that the restructuring of the vegetable markets bays in line with Covid-19 protocols be done in all vegetable markets.
Cabinet also resolved that markets operate a six-day-cycle with mandatory closure for disinfection on the seventh day and that all vendors at stalls should exercise extreme precaution like the use of sanitisers and consistent hand-washing with soap and running water,” she said.
Dr Nyoni also said an educational campaign would also be prioritised as Government tries to conscientise people about the necessity of the new public health safeguards.
“All vendors at stalls should exercise extreme precaution like the use of sanitisers and consistent hand-washing with soap and running water; and a targeted Information Education Campaign be conducted to promote a new-normal among traders and customers at these markets. Government will also come up with measures to be enforced in other places where people converge in large numbers,” she said.