Indian variant: no need to panic — Govt

Source: Indian variant: no need to panic — Govt | Sunday Mail (Top Stories)

Emmanuel Kafe

ZIMBABWEANS should not panic over the possibility of the spread of the Covid-19 variant B.1.617, first detected in India, as authorities are closely monitoring the situation.

This comes as Government has said it will take a re-look at the distribution of Covid-19 doses countrywide, following reports that some vaccination centres have run out of the jabs.

In an interview yesterday, Chief Coordinator in the National Response to Covid-19 Dr Agnes Mahomva said the Government has activated its health emergency systems to deal with the B.1. 617 variant after genomic sequencing tests revealed it is now in Zimbabwe. “The country has since escalated its response mechanism to contain the new variant, after the Kwekwe case was reported – there is no need to panic – but people should not lose guard in adhering to Covid-19 regulations.

“As usual we must strengthen our Covid-19 containment measures prescribed by health authorities, including social distancing, correct wearing of face masks and improved hygiene”

A two-week local lockdown for Kwekwe, Redcliff and surrounding areas with a 7pm to 6 am district curfew has been ordered by Government to contain the spread of Covid-19 variant B.1.617 after one person died from the contagion in the Midlands city.

On reports of Covid-19 vaccines running out in some areas, Dr Mahomva said the Ministry of Health and Child Care woud redistribute the dosages so that there would not be shortages going forward.

“We will be looking at where the vaccines are moving faster compared to other areas so that we know when and where to increase the number of doses,” she said.

Our Bulawayo Bureau reports that hospitals and clinics in Bulawayo are now only inoculating people seeking their second dose of Covid-19 vaccines as the high uptake has seen the city run out of jabs.

Bulawayo Provincial Medical Director Dr Welcome Mlilo confirmed that Bulawayo was last week only attending to people coming for the second dose.

“Yes, it is true that we have run out of vaccines as Bulawayo Metropolitan Province and that is why we have been giving it to people who are coming for their second dose. Right now, we have appraised our head office of the situation obtaining and we have been promised that we should be getting more vaccines within the next (this) week or so,” he told our Bulawayo Bureau.