Covid-19 shadow hangs over Christmas 

Source: Covid-19 shadow hangs over Christmas | The Herald

Covid-19 shadow hangs over Christmas
Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga

Mukudzei Chingwere Herald Reporter

High levels of Covid-19 infection, driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant along with the rising number of daily fatalities, spawned appeals from health experts and the Government for citizens to take the pandemic seriously by maintaining vigilance while following all precautions.

Authorities have been clear that early successes in the fight against Covid-19 should not be mistaken for total victory against the pandemic as its threat continues to hover perilously over Zimbabwe.

Though infection rates have been sliding down for a little over a week, they could easily burst out of control and, in case, are still above the levels seen in other waves except for a handful of days.

Complacency has tended to creep into society as infections fall, with people disregarding mitigatory measures.

During the same period last year, cases rose, causing a second wave of infections, and now a fourth wave is within communities after what experts say was caused by a disregard of containment measures.

The citizenry is being implored to avoid gatherings and more social contact.

The Government recently led the way by barring all departments from conducting face-to-face meetings.

Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Constantino Chiwenga has been consistent in his messages, warning that cases could easily rise if people stopped adhering to laid down protocols.

“It is not going to help that today you are so happy, then tomorrow you are in hospital. Remember you are also putting a strain on those health workers,” said VP Chiwenga.

“We are now going to Christmas, which is a holiday, and from there we will go to the New Year. If we want to enjoy the Christmas and New Year, we must respect the WHO protocols and also the protocols and instructions we issue as the Ministry of Health and Child Care,” said VP Chiwenga.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said Zimbabwe had done well to mount an effective response to the global pandemic, advising that everyone had a duty to hold on by remaining vigilant.

The specialised United Nations (UN) agency responsible for international public health said this is the time everyone should redouble their efforts in preventative measures.

“We really have to do our best. All of us have a role to play in contributing to reducing the transmission of Covid-19,” said WHO country representative Dr Alex Gasasira.

“Now that cases are going down, we should redouble our efforts in compliance with prevention, wear masks, avoid crowds and promote hygiene. Of course, the Government has the leadership role, if we do not comply with what the Government is advising us, cases will continue to rise,” said Dr Gasasira.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care Dr John Mangwiro received equipment donated by partners at Natpharm yesterday.

The equipment will support the response to Covid-19 and donors include Satewave, UNICEF, Crown Agents, Health Save and Medent Safety.

Said Dr Mangwiro: “The donation from UNICEF and the health development partners has further cemented their support in the fight against Covid-19 of which they have supported us from when it started.

“UNICEF has also supported COVID-19 infrastructure works since 2020 through HDF funding. To date a total of 14 Covid-19 Isolation facilities across the country were fitted with oxygen reticulation, with the piping including one bulk oxygen tank, and incinerator repairs.”

He thanked Satewave for the donation of personal protective equipment (PPE) already in the country.

Satewave is a Chinese owned company, its chief executive officer Zhong Guo said they are Zimbabwe’s all weather friends and remain committed to assist when need arises.