By Sukuoluhle Ndlovu
Masvingo – Could the overcrowding of Exor be lack of knowledge on transmission of COVID 19 or residents are simply ignoring the pandemic that has already claimed a life in Zimbabwe?
At the hotspot for cross-boarder buses at EXOR a few kilometres from the Masvingo CBD along the Beitbridge highway road, people are going about their business with vendors and forex exchange dealers waiting for buses to come by so they sell their merchandise.
The day before yesterday buses departing and arriving was fully packed as people were trying to cross the border before it closed.
Exor trading centre being the place where most buses pass by has left a lot to be desired, vendors and all business dealers seem ignorant too of the global pandemic.
As the buses arrive, a lot of vendors rush to the bus windows and some even enter inside the bus to conduct business.
In interviews with this publication, vendors at Exor explained why they were still operating despite the obvious risk of contracting corona virus.
“We were told we should sanitize and we do so. As we enter buses and they sanitize us first so as far as that is concerned l feel l am safe because even after calculating the money l get I will be sanitized. The buses are not banning us from entering but are encouraging us to be careful and cautious and we are also doing so,” said one Linda Phiri.
One lady who sells drinks and water said that she cannot stay idle at home when she wants to put food on the table.
“For me, it is business as usual, l cannot stop myself from making money because of the fear of death. Death is everywhere and one day will die so l will continue coming to do my business till the initial lockdown. If Exor is shutdown, then l will stop coming,” she said.
After observing the operations of the forex exchange dealers, this correspondent noticed that they did not have any protective clothing nor hand sanitizers while serving clients.
One who spoke to Bustop TV said he is serving a lot of people crossing the border as they change money and cannot spend the whole day wearing a mask and gloves which are not user friendly.
“I heard money is another way the virus is being transmitted and we were told to wear masks and gloves but this is not possible. The heat will be too much and it will reduce my work capability. I do wear gloves but not always. Sanitizing is also another burden as sometimes l forget because of the pressure I will be getting,” he said.
Others showed their concern over the spread of the virus as the place is so overcrowded especially in the evening. A lot of vendors and dealers at Exor have interacted with people who were travelling from SA and other high-risk countries.
At first, a lot of people thought it was a joke but now they have realised there is a need to protect themselves and be prepared for the virus as cases are increasing every day.