Mbabane: The tightening of screws on the COVID-19 regulation compliance has begun as Operations Bopha gets into force in Manzini today.
Manzini regional administrator who also doubles as the Chairmen of the Manzini regional COVID-19 task team Chief Gija announced on Wednesday at the Manzini Regional Offices that Operation Bopha will begin to ensure compliance with the COVID-19 regulations.
Gija said as of Friday, June 4, 2021, the Manzini Regional COVID-19 Task Team would be dispatched to shopping centers, businesses, and roads to check compliance since it had momentarily taken a break.
This comes after the country has started seeing an upwards trend in the number of positive COVID-19 cases. As of June 3, 2021, the country has recorded 18 623 number of confirmed positive cases with 673 deaths and has 64 active cases.
The Manzini region has always been regarded as an epicenter for the disease as it has the highest number of confirmed cases as well as the Hhohho region compared to the other regions.
Operation Bopha was launched by Acting Prime Minister Themba Masuku in December 2020 in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19.
‘Operation Bopha’ is an initiative that seeks to enforce compliance with COVID-19 regulations by arresting all those disregarding the regulations. These include people who are seen loitering in groups, not wearing masks while enjoying each other’s company. People who are wandering aimlessly in the streets while others sat in groups, imbibing alcohol and having conversations. Those who do not wear musk properly and put them under their chins.
According to Chief Gija, he was instructed by the Manzini Regional COVID-19 Task Team to remind all residents of Manzini, business owners, and as well as those who would be visiting Manzini that the COVID-19 pandemic had not subsided yet, and it was still dominant and deadly.
Chief Gija pointed out that it was in that vein that the Ministry of Health had informed emaSwati that the third wave of the COVID-19 was around the corner. He said they have been receiving feedback from the Ministry of Health about the number of infections not only locally but even in our neighboring countries and the whole world at large,” he said.
He said the Manzini regional COVID-19 task team has noted that the lack of compliance to COVID-19 regulations has greatly increased in Manzini. He said the team had noted with concern that emaSwati in Manzini were in a relaxed mode as far as complying with COVID-19 guidelines was concerned.
He emphasized that the observation was not biased as they had noted the lack of compliance to COVID-19 regulations in the transport sector whereby public transport drivers and conductors were seen executing their duties without wearing their face masks.
He said the lack of compliance was also witnessed in shopping centers and market stalls. “We would like to warn all Emaswati to be on the lookout for the Manzini Regional COVID-19 Task Team which would be effecting arrests on anyone who would fail to adhere to the COVID-19 regulations beginning from tomorrow. We don’t want people to say we took them by surprise,” he said.