The disease has become even more contagious with the emergence of a variant form of the virus, which has run through South Africa and is now a major threat in Zimbabwe.
In the UK rapid progress has been made in vaccinating people. The National Health Service is under extreme pressure and vaccinations are seen as the only hope of taming the disease.
But the Times newspaper reports that doctors are being faced with patients who deny the virus exists, even when they are being treated for it. Conspiracy theorists are running riot on social media.
The President of the Royal College of Physicians Andrew Goddard said: ‘It is much worse than being told the world is flat or that the Moon landings were faked, people may die because of it. If the public think there is no crisis in hospitals and they don’t need to play their part, the virus will kill many more.’
The virus has taken hold now in Zimbabwe after hopes we would escape lightly. A Vigil activist visiting Zimbabwe is now on oxygen at one of the few hospitals that can help.
In London Vigil Co-ordinator Rose was this week injected with the vaccine because she is in her 70s. She said there was a slight discomfort in the arm afterwards but it soon passed and there were no other after effects. So far she has not grown a tail!
The Vigil urges everyone to take the vaccine if they are offered it. Until then the best advice is to observe the recommended constraints on social mixing. The police commander responsible for engaging with minority communities in London such as the Zimbabwe Vigil has asked our help in encouraging people to observe the latest restrictions. They include precautions against mixing with others after communal worship (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news).
All of us are now hearing of people struck down by this virus. It is not a passing inconvenience like flu. Even if you recover there can be long-term consequences. It is not only the old and vulnerable who are getting seriously ill. Even young people can be badly affected.
- Because of the coronavirus we can no longer physically meet outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London, so we have a virtual Vigil while the restrictions continue. We ask our activists to put on Vigil / ROHR / Zimbabwe regalia and take a photo of themselves holding an appropriate poster reflecting our protest against human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. The photos are uploaded on our Flickr site: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157717817846383. Our virtual Vigil activist today was Rudo Takiya who kindly contributed to Vigil funds.
- For Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.
- The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.
- The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil. All proceeds go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe’s work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
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