Lockdown extension welcome

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WHILE the country has been recording falling numbers of new infections and deaths of the COVID-19 virus since its peak in mid-July, 27 deaths and and 319 new cases reported on Tuesday are still too high for comfort.

That is why we are fully behind the further extension of Level Four lockdown by a further two weeks by the Government.

Even though there has been a notable decrease in the number of deaths and infections since the onset of the Third Wave, the rate is still a cause for concern.

A single death or infection a day from this virus should make us feel uncomfortable.

This means a lot more needs to be done to contain the COVID-19 infections and deaths.

And the surest way to achieve this is through vaccination, which the Government is offering for free.

The about 2,5 million people who have been vaccinated so far, while significant, is still not good enough.

This is about a quarter of 10 million, the number required to reach herd immunity.

We are encouraged by the confidence of the Health Ministry that this target could be reached by December. 

When this threshold is reached, the Government is likely to relax COVID-19 restrictions, with life going back almost to normal.

Those who watch Premier League football from Europe have been amazed to see stadiums filled to rafters by fans, most of them without even wearing masks.

There is nothing magical about this.

They have already gone beyond herd immunity in the UK.

For those infected after being inoculated, the severity of the effects of the virus is heavily compromised by the boosted immune system. 

The further two-week extension of the Level Four lockdown presents an opportunity for more people to get vaccinated.

“We cannot afford to let our guard down until we are all safe,” declared Information, Media, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvanga, in a statement on Tuesday, announcing the extension of the lockdown.

It is heartening to note that the Government’s procurement of vaccines is on-going.

There are no more cases where people are turned away because of shortage of vaccine doses.

What appears to be found wanting is the number of centres available to administer the jabs.

It is, therefore, a welcome development, this idea of making all pharmacies turned into centres to avail the jab.

The Government has gone further by recalling retired nurses to boost the numbers of those qualified to inoculate those willing.

There are some places where it is now a requirement to have been vaccinated before admittance.

We fully support restriction.

Why would you like to be a threat to those willing to comply with a requirement that guarantees the safety of others?

There are those victims of vaccination hesitancy due to misinformation and myths.

There are falsehoods to the effect that men vaccinated get sterile while women become infertile.

More bizarre is the myth that those vaccinated will die within two years.

Of course there are all sorts of weird theories being thrown around by some malicious characters.

The gullible easily subscribe to the heresy.

It is, therefore, imperative that co-ordinated measures to educate people on the virtues of vaccination continue.

The Fourth Wave is lurking in the shadows to catch us off guard.

This is said to be even more devastating than the third.

Canada, Switzerland and Germany, among others, have already reported its prevalence. 

In Zimbabwe, it is feared it might invade us around December. 

Let us keep it away by being vaccinated.

This is in addition to the observance of WHO protocols, which include keeping social distance, masking up properly and hand hygiene.

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