Zimbabwe has kept Covid-19 at bay during the 2020 tobacco selling season, reports The Sunday Mail. According to the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB), here have been no reported cases of infection at tobacco auction floors since marketing began on April 29.
Tobacco sales have traditionally concentrated in the Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare. To prevent spread of the coronavirus, the TIMB distributed sales throughout the country. Sales this year also took place in Manicaland, Mashonaland West and Mashonaland Central. The Boka Tobacco Floors, for example, established new sales floors in Karoi, Mvurwi and Rusape.
The TIMB also banned informal trading outside the sales venues. Farmers were not allowed to sleep outside the floors while waiting to sell the commodity.
“I am pleased to say that there has been no confirmed case(s) of the coronavirus infection at all the floors. As the tobacco industry regulator, we put in place strict measures that are meant to curb the spread of the disease, and it has worked thus far,” said TIMB chief executive officer Andrew Matibiri.
Tobacco Reporter covered Zimbabwe’s unusual 2020 selling season in depth in its June print edition.