THE surge in Covid-19 infections was caused by the movement of people who travelled into and throughout the country during the festive season, a senior Government official has said.
Health and Child Care Deputy Minister Dr John Mangwiro also cited complacency and negligence on part of the public, as a major cause of the spike in cases and deaths.
This comes as 45 more people died of Covid-19 yesterday, while 476 new cases recorded.
He challenged Zimbabweans to be extra cautious and to adhere to World Health Organisation (WHO) regulations when conducting daily business.
Dr Mangwiro further warned those with underlying conditions to be extra cautious and avoid unnecessary movements.
“Provinces are now getting a high number of positive cases. Over the Christmas period, we had a surge in people who travelled from Botswana, South Africa and other countries and people were going to their different rural areas. We all know as Zimbabweans that our bases are in rural areas. There was a lot of travel and movement which continues up to this day,” said Dr Mangwiro.
“The epicentres which we used to have are no longer safe. Every part of the country is getting high figures which means we should take more precautions.”
He urged transporters who are ferrying the public to fumigate and sanitise their buses to avoid the spread of the pandemic.
“These buses must surely be cleaned every day with sanitisers so that they are safe for the next passengers. As Government, we are already spraying cities. We already have timetables to spray them regularly in food markets to make sure we remain safe,” said Dr Mangwiro.
He urged Zimbabweans to assist health workers in their respective areas.
“Let’s make sure that we help each other when the health workers are doing contact tracing. We must be open to them. When one is asked by the authorities to be tested, let’s comply.”
People were supposed to be cautious when dealing with people with underlying diseases such as diabetes, cancer, kidney ailments, heart problems and other chronic ailments who are at high risk of contracting and succumbing to Covid-19.
“The best way to prevent and slowdown Covid-19 transmission is to protect yourself and others from infection by observing WHO guidelines such as isolation, sanitising, maintaining social distance and masking.
“Remember people with underlying conditions are plenty. It’s our job to look after them and our job to make sure they are not in danger. One might also be on chemotherapy as a cancer patient, which can also damage their immunity. If Covid-19 gets into such a person, it’s treble trouble because the person’s immunity is already compromised,” he said,
“We recommend that people stay at home. The virus spreads faster in crowded places, in cars and anywhere you go. Let’s stick to the rules and regulations.”
He warned the public against attending funerals in large numbers, saying gatherings should not exceed 30 people.
Dr Mangwiro said even those with no underlying conditions were supposed to be careful.