The Sunday News
WHAT is now clear to everyone is that Covid-19 kills. Anyone who was wondering why the Government and the rest of the world initiated robust measures to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus now has the answer. As the cliché goes, the numbers (of those infected and deceased) have become names and faces we all know.
The year 2020 will be remembered as one of humanity’s deadliest, with the pandemic turning it into a nightmare for the whole world, restricting every aspect of human activity from traveling to schooling, and claiming nearly 1,5 million lives in less than a year. The numbers have continued to rise with 91 816 091 confirmed cases across the world and 1 986 871 deaths, reported to the World Health Organisation on Friday. In Zimbabwe, 30 deaths were reported on Friday, taking the death toll to 666.
A total of 741 new cases were reported, bringing the total to 26 109 since the outbreak was first reported in the country in March last year. In addition, 15 414 have since recovered, which gives a glimmer of hope that the condition can be managed, though with devastating effects to the economy and social life.
Nonetheless, Acting President General Constantino Chiwenga (Retired), who is also the Minister of Health and Child Care, on Friday said Zimbabwe had adequate health facilities to admit Covid-19 patients in the face of rising new infections. He said Government would provide enough health care services as it intensified the fight against the spread of Covid-19 but warned some rogue elements defying lockdown measures that they will be punished.
Since December 24 2020, the country witnessed a surge in Covid-19 cases forcing the Government to enforce Level Four lockdown measures. Acting President Chiwenga said the recent escalation in cases of the pandemic in the country had triggered high demand for healthcare, but dismissed reports that there was a serious shortage of hospital beds.
“It would be an exaggeration at this stage, to suggest that our health institutions are overwhelmed by cases of Covid-19.
Let me reassure citizens that Zimbabwe’s public and private health institutions still have adequate capacity to offer health services to all patients. In light of widely circulating reports alleging that there is a serious deficit of hospital beds, let me point out that these were embellished social media allegations by some pen-mercenaries. However, if the need arises in future, my ministry may consider options of increasing facilities currently designated for Covid-19 or designate more hospitals to take in patients,” he said.
Covid-19 is an infectious disease caused by the coronavirus. Medical experts say most people who fall sick with Covid-19 will experience mild to moderate symptoms and recover without special treatment, although a high number of people have died across the world.
The virus that causes Covid-19 is mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or exhales. These droplets are too heavy to hang in the air, and quickly fall on floors or surfaces. You can be infected by breathing in the virus if you are within close proximity of someone who has Covid-19, or by touching a contaminated surface and then your eyes, nose or mouth.
Social distancing, sanitising hands and avoiding gatherings have been touted as key in preventing the spread of the virus.
This therefore calls for discipline from individual level and household level. It is the duty of everyone to follow health guidelines provided by the Government and health professionals so as to curb the pandemic.