Maputo – The government of central Mozambique province, Manica, has expressed concern about the presence of children on the streets, often involved in petty trading, in violation of emergency measures decreed by the government to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.
All schools are closed to stop the spread of the disease. The government hoped that children could continue their education through distance education programs. But many parents, ignoring government calls for the children to stay at home, sent them out on the street to earn money.
On the streets of the provincial capital, Chimoio, a large number of children can be seen on the sidewalks, selling cakes, peanuts, fruit, bottled drinks and even homemade masks. Parents who use their children in this way ignore the distance education courses that the Ministry of Education broadcasts on radio and television.
The concern that so many children are on the street rather than at home was expressed Monday at a meeting of the provincial government held to monitor measures taken to mitigate Covid-19.
Manica Secretary of State Edson Macuacua called the provincial government's performance in the fight against the pandemic "positive." But he challenged members of government to develop an action plan for the next 15 days, making it a priority to prevent people from moving from place to place. the other on the public highway – especially unprotected children who don't wear masks.
"Our job as a government is to educate people about the need to stay at home," said Macuacua. "They should only leave the home for matters of extreme necessity. In the markets, additional measures must be taken to ensure real distance between people, in compliance with the rules of disease prevention".
He urged parents and guardians to be more responsible and not to use their children for activities that put them at risk.
"Children cannot take to the streets," said Macuacua. "The government has closed schools so that children can stay at home and watch lessons on television and radio. When they take to the streets, they are exposed to the danger of contamination by the disease."
Macuacua also demanded more discipline from the truckers. He wanted them to act responsibly and not move "in a haphazard manner".
"The defense and security forces are called upon to maintain order in order to prevent any behavior constituting a threat to public health," he said,
The future, he said, will depend on who obeys preventive measures established by the government – such as avoiding crowds, washing hands frequently, wearing masks in public places, observing social distance and leave the house only when absolutely necessary.
So far, only one case of Covid-19 has been diagnosed in Manica, in the Machaze district, in the south of the province.