In the past three days, around 1,000 have been arrested for “flouting the measures” or wearing masks. Restrictions were slightly reduced in the country where more than 1,500 infections were confirmed.
Critics accuse the government of taking action against the opposition and arresting activists, but the government says it is a false allegation. Opposition groups and civil society groups are mobilizing for a national protest on July 31, demanding the resignation of President Emerson Mnangagwa.
Under current regulations, all Zimbabweans who return from overseas must be quarantined for three weeks at a government-approved facility. According to police, a total of 276 people escaped from the quarantine center, including some who tested positive.
Nearly 30 of them were arrested and tried for exposing their families and communities to the virus, police added. Among them were two men who infected seven family members, state television reported. The police say they intend to increase law enforcement efforts, arguing that many people are complacent.
Some Zimbabweans have opened secret places for drinking and things deemed illegal at this time in the backyard, police said. “We will arrest all of these violators,” spokesman Paul Niyathi was quoted on state television.
Zimbabweans restrictions measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus have exacerbated the country’s economic and political crisis. The government expects the economy to shrink 4.5% this year, while annual inflation will rise to 785% in June.