THE Government last Tuesday announced the extension of the Level Four lockdown by a further two weeks in a bid to contain the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
We note that there have been concerns from the business sector and members of the public on the impact of the lockdown on business operations and people’s livelihoods.
However, what is important at this point is to understand that the third wave has to be contained at all costs so as to save life and ensure that businesses go back to life without any break.
It would be folly to throw caution to the wind at this point.
Studies have shown that containment measures implemented in countries like China and South Korea have reduced new cases by more than 90 percent, and the lockdown measures are also giving positive results in the country.
Reports indicate that lockdowns have saved millions of lives across the world. Furthermore, evidence also suggests that stringent but temporary restrictions, could actually benefit the economic recovery because they reduce the spread of the disease.
The International Monetary Fund, for example, determined that while lockdowns “impose short-term costs” they may lead to “a faster economic recovery”. The organisation states that “by bringing infections under control, lockdowns may thus pave the way to a faster economic recovery as people feel more comfortable about resuming normal activities.”
While adhering to lockdown guidelines, we also urge citizens to get vaccinated. Without vaccines, we are at risk of continued spread of the virus. The World Health Organisation (WHO) says in general terms, without vaccines people are at the danger of serious illness and disability from diseases like measles, meningitis, pneumonia, tetanus and polio. Many of these diseases can be life-threatening.
Two key reasons to get vaccinated are to protect ourselves and to protect those around us. Because not everyone can be vaccinated – including very young children, those who are seriously ill or have certain allergies – they depend on others being vaccinated to ensure they are also safe from vaccine-preventable diseases.
We also want to reiterate that vaccination is a simple, safe, and effective way of protecting people against harmful diseases, before they come into contact with them.
WHO says vaccination uses your body’s natural defenses to build resistance to specific infections and makes your immune system stronger. Vaccines train your immune system to create antibodies, just as it does when it is exposed to a disease. However, because vaccines contain only killed or weakened forms of germs like viruses or bacteria, they do not cause the disease or put you at risk of its complications.
“We cannot afford to let our guard down until we are all safe. Members of the public are therefore, urged to take this opportunity to get vaccinated.
Government will continue to procure vaccines and avail them to those who are eligible and willing to be vaccinated,” said Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa last week.