By Burzil Dube
THE status of Masiyephambili Drive in Bulawayo was supposed to be ‘the main film’ in this week’s travelling and touring column as where brickbats have already been thrown concerning poor workmanship.
Yours Truly has decided to temporarily put this ‘interesting’ piece on the back burner as more facts and other related issues are still being gathered concerning this road rehabilitation project being implemented by government.
However, the buck does not stop with City of Kings’ road network but in other towns and cities as well where rains have shown us the who’s who in road construction.
Those in the broadcasting world normally use the term ‘stay tuned’ for obvious reasons to their listeners and Yours Truly has decided to use a similar lexicon as we seek to audit a couple of rehabilitated roads whose programme is currently ongoing across the country.
Now to this week’s gist of the matter and that may prove a game changer to those who are in the travelling and touring fraternity.
Those who are of the opinion that Covid-19 is slowly becoming a thing of the past are in for a shock as some countries have introduced stricter measures to those not vaccinated against the virus.
Across the seas, some countries have embarked on a crusade to completely tighten screws against unvaccinated members of their populace by denying them certain fundamental privileges as most nations seek to achieve herd immunity.
Some of the countries that have implemented strict and tough measures include Austria, Italy, Germany, Australia, China and Singapore among others.
The unvaccinated in Austria are no longer allowed to move around outside their homes willy-nilly unless shopping for food and work-related purposes. Police are mandated to carry out random checks and woe to those caught on the wrong side of Covid-19 stipulated laws.
About 65% of Austria’s population is considered to be vaccinated and its infection rate is among the world’s lowest. This country also offers monetary incentives for getting vaccinated against Covid-19 virus which continues to wreck havoc across the world. In Berlin, Germany, the unvaccinated are prohibited setting foot in restaurants, bars and gyms.
Italy has gone a step further by requiring citizens to carry a government issued ‘green pass’ that explicitly states whether the individual has been vaccinated, tested negative or recovered from Covid-19.
The same also applies when entering places such as museums, movie houses and bars among others.
Plans are also afoot to introduce such mandatory measures in the employment sector, travelling and other related fields as part of efforts to curb stubbornness among citizens.
However, Singapore has implemented an enticing approach where government is not prohibiting unvaccinated individuals from carrying out their usual chores but has dangled some form a carrot. Those citizens who are not vaccinated by choice will soon lose out on free Covid-19 treatment and other related benefits.
It is reported that as from December 8, this year the above mentioned operation will come into force and they will certainly be the biblical gnashing of teeth following withdrawal of such medical privileges.
“Currently, unvaccinated persons make up a sizable majority of those who require intensive inpatient care, and disproportionately contribute to the strain on our healthcare resources,” the Singaporean government recently said.
It is a matter of time before governments in developing countries follow suit following widespread reports of a looming and devastating Covid-19 fourth wave and the travelling and touring industry will be badly affected. Your guess is as good as mine on its consequences.
Kenyan authorities will with effect from next month prohibit citizens who are not fully vaccinated from using any form of public transport as part of efforts of increasing vaccinations prior the festive season.
The same modus operandi is also being applied to bars and restaurants were hefty fines await any form of transgressors who knowing flouting such regulations.
In Zimbabwe some of the above mentioned Covid-19 prevention measures on restaurants, bars and gyms are already operational subject to adherence to laid down rules and regulations that are at times proving to be a tall order on implementation modalities.
There was time when memes inscribed “Zupco Vaccination Card” instead of “Covid-19 Vaccination Card” and this picturesque went viral in various social media circles.
However, the real movie script would soon be upon us and Yours Truly would be enjoying the proverbial popcorn as the thrilling film is currently loading.
And indeed it is loading.
A stitch in time saves nine.
Till we meet again in the next column.
- Comments always welcome on: firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter@DubeBurzil