Let’s be prepared to fight COVID-19

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EDITOR – LET me first applaud President Emmerson Mnangagwa for taking the lead in our nation’s fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Thank you for leading by example Your Excellency. 

Zimbabwe must be adequately prepared in case of an outbreak. 

It is my understanding that over the past few days, 27 African countries have recorded their first active cases of COVID-19, a development that has gripped many with fear as they question the ability of the continent to tackle this pandemic.

I also hear that Zimbabwe has acquired test kits that take five hours to present results as previously we were relying on neighbouring South Africa to diagnose suspected cases.

With news that there now is a rapid result test kit that gives results in 15 minutes, the waiting time is cut giving suspects relief. 

There were some pictures circulating on social media that got me worried. 

These were pictures of some immigration workers at one of our airports conducting their duties without masks. 

If it’s true, then I think such issues must be addressed urgently. 

Editor, I thought I should share with fellow Zimbabweans what I know about the virus so far.

COVID-19 belongs to a family of coronaviruses that include SARS (CoV-2) and MARS.

Transmission occurs primarily via respiratory droplets from coughs and sneezes within a range of about one metre.

Indirect contact via contaminated surfaces is another possible cause of infection. The time between exposure and symptom occurrence is typically five days, but may range from two to 14 days.

Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

Complications include pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Currently, no vaccine or specific anti-retroviral treatment is available.

The public is urged to cover their mouths and noses when coughing or sneezing preferably with a tissue that is to be disposed of immediately.

Hand washing is a must, the use of an alcohol based hand sanitiser is also encouraged in order to kill viruses that may be on your hands.

Liz, 

Harare.

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