The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) will most likely suspend the open flea market, popularly known as Khothama, as a preventative measure to ward of possible spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Khothama has become one of the top weekend spots for residents, where traders sell imported second-hand clothes at comparatively affordable prices.
The spot, located along 8th Avenue attracts large numbers of people.
Early this week, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, made a proclamation to postpone and cancel public events, gatherings and activities of more than 100 people for the next 60 days.
Responding to questions from CITE at a press briefing Friday, Divisional Environmental Health Officer, Patrick Ncube, said the city council would also consider taking that route as the government had suspended gatherings.
“We are now talking about social distancing, which people must abide by and this will refer to places where we now have crowds. Already there has been a proclamation by the president where gatherings of more than 100 people have been suspended. So I believe that is what is going to be done even at Khothama at any given point,” he said.
Dr Ncube approved that the suspension of gatherings meant no one or a place was supposed to host more than 100 people as a precautionary move.
“Yes we know it may be difficult to implement it but yesterday if you watched ZTV, the police came out saying they would uphold that suspension. I believe as a city we will work with the uniformed forces to make sure there is a suspension of gatherings and that no more than 100 people congregate in one place,” he explained.
The city’s health official also noted that even at home, families had to practice ‘safe distance.’
“Residents have to combine safe distance plus carry out cough etiquette. When coughing cover your mouth into a flexed elbow. Do this at home self-isolate, maintain a distance from each other mainly from those people who are at risk.
“If one is showing symptoms, they must bath last, because you are infectious. If you bath last try use detergents such as Jik, to sanitise the bath area. Yes, I know at times we have issues where we have more than five people in one room but it comes down to hygiene. Frequent hygiene and practice cough etiquette while trying to make sure there social distance are preventative measures,” Dr Ncube said.