This service is invaluable in these times and here’s why:
After the first lockdown, the country relaxed judging by how many people forgot the public health guidelines. I remember one day when I was in the supermarket and a lady had to remind people in the queue for the till to maintain the recommended 2m distance.
With the second wave now upon us, these updates give us a look into what is happening on the front lines. This I hope will remind people that they have to do their very best to keep themselves and the people around them safe.
COVID-19 stats are readily available on the internet, social media and over instant messaging apps. The problem with this is that not everyone in Zimbabwe has a smartphone or even a feature phone that will allow them to access this information.
It’s made worse by the second lockdown which has most Zimbabweans in their homes and unable to earn a living. A good number of these people are informal traders who, due to depressed levels of income, cannot afford to spend money on a data or WhatsApp bundle.
These COVID-19 SMS updates ensure that as many people as possible get accurate information on what’s happening on the ground.
This is the kind of thing that we like to see from our MNOs. Econet has really gone above and beyond to make sure that it’s subscribers are kept up to date. Hopefully we can see a similar service being rolled out by the country’s other mobile network operators.