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Police disinfecting COVID-19 ‘hotspots’ in Harare

The ZBC has shown videos of anti-riot tanks spraying disinfectant in an open space at Mbare suburb, one of Harare’s 30 potential hotspots.

FILE: Police officers patrol near Tredgold Magistrates courts on 19 August 2019, in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Picture: AFP

HARARE - Police in the Zimbabwe capital, Harare, are using water cannon to disinfect 30 so-called COVID-19 hotspots on Friday.

The country has so far confirmed nine cases and one death from the coronavirus, but officials have only conducted 316 tests for the disease.

The ZBC has shown videos of anti-riot tanks spraying disinfectant in an open space at Mbare suburb, one of Harare’s 30 potential hotspots.

The ominous looking grey vehicles are usually deployed to quell anti-government demonstrations.

But their use for this public health task has been praised on social media.

As elsewhere in Africa, police there are coming in for criticism of their strong-armed tactics in enforcing a three-week lockdown, now in its fifth day.

Early on Friday morning, police raided a busy market in the eastern city of Mutare; three tonnes of vegetables were confiscated and burnt, despite President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s order that food markets remain open.

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