COVID-19: Let’s not relax

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THE recent extension of the localised Kwekwe COVID-19 lockdown should be a rude awakening to those who have tended to relax on the assumption that the pandemic menace is on its way out.

It is not 

On the contrary, according to statistics, it could be on the increase, triggering fear of the possibility of the dreaded Third Wave.

It is worth noting that on Tuesday, June 8 alone, there were a reported 83 cases across the country.

On Wednesday the previous week, 33 cases had been reported countrywide. 

Any increase, even of one statistic, should raise eyebrows if we take it into consideration that not long ago, the daily figures could be counted on the fingers of the palm of one hand.

And it is also reported that a surge in COVID-19 cases in Hurungwe (Mashonaland West) saw 48 people testing positive in three days earlier this week.

Announcing the extension of the lockdown earlier this week, the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services  Monica Mutsvanga gave a chilly warning to the nation:

“Zimbabwe is not yet out of the woods.”

Another frightening statistic in the spread of COVID-19 is the testing positive of four teachers at a high school in Matabeleland South.

This is especially so since learning institutions can be a dangerous nucleus in the spread of this pandemic.

It is therefore gratifying to hear that the relevant Ministry has banned the use of all school buildings during this holiday period. 

This gives the school authorities and Health Ministry an opportunity to make sure they are all thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

Pupils and their teachers will be coming back from holidays soon. 

A safe school environment should top the list of items ticked that ensure the safety of the returning pupils and staff.

It is also imperative that adequate testing measures be taken on or before re-entering the school premises.

Our concern is not only with the school environment.

We are greatly disturbed by the level of laxity away from the city centres. 

Face masks are either not worn at all or are used as pieces of cloth meant to hang under the chin. 

You would think it’s a fashion!

Temperature testing at entrances to buildings has been reduced to a circus, with the one taking it never bothering to look at the readings at all.

You would be tempted to think social distancing, be it at bus termini, market places, supermarkets or any gatherings for that matter, is a taboo.

All this is probably because we wrongly assume: “We are out of the woods.”

We are not!

Our winter is bitterly cold and we are told this is the weather in which the new coronavirus (COVID-19) flourishes. 

We have been advised to be vaccinated to boost our immune system in case of an attack by this deadly virus. 

But some are being influenced by politicians not to accept a certain vaccine from China.

But those same politicians have already had their jabs!

Mind you, it might be too late by the time you realise you were being led astray.

And then there are some who are making a mountain out of a molehill over the temporary shortage of some vaccines.

The key word is temporary. 

There is a time limit though.

This has to be seen to be, indeed, temporary with Government making sure fresh supplies are arriving consistently.

This week’s delivery of 25 000 Sputnik V Russian manufactured vaccines could not have been more appropriate.

People have  to be vaccinated and the jabs have to be available.

Meanwhile, law enforcement agents have to be ruthless in making sure Government and WHO protocols to check the spread of COVID-19 are adhered to.

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