The Sunday News
THAT the whole world is under siege from the deadly coronavirus (Covid-19) is not something new. However, what is worrying is the continuing surge in the number of infections accompanied by deaths. It is this scenario that continues to cause unmitigated uncertainty and anxiety among the people.
When we all thought the pandemic had been held impressively and was in check, suddenly it exponentially rose in the process presenting a chilling dimension to the whole situation.
As of Friday last week it was reported that Zimbabwe recorded 22 deaths and 985 new Covid-19 cases. Of the cases, 984 were local transmissions while one was a returnee from Zambia.
From the statistics provided on Friday, Harare accounted for 401 of the cases, to take the number of active cases in the capital to 3 243. The deaths were reported by Bulawayo (5), Harare (3), Manicaland (6), Mashonaland East (3), Midlands (2) and Masvingo (3).
A total of 2 746 PCR tests were done, implying a positivity rate of 36 percent while new recoveries reported were 101. By Friday, the country had recorded 19 660 cases, 12 184 recoveries and 468 deaths.
With a such a scenario at hand it is now everyone’s duty to fight the pandemic and this time there is no margin for error. It is also high time people paid attention to the medical and public health messages coming from the authorities about the dangers of this pandemic.
It is imperative that our citizens stick to the regulations of fighting the pandemic such as proper wearing of masks, social distancing and staying at home at all times if they do not have business in town. A health expert has on countless times warned that this Covid-19 virus moves when people move, so people should stay at home.
Against this background of exponentially rising of cases, Vice-President Retired General Constantino Chiwenga, who is also the Minister of Health and Child Care announced new lockdown regulations on Saturday last week.
That put the country under level four lockdown which reintroduced a 6pm to 6am curfew, banned gatherings such as wedding ceremonies, religious services while limiting the number of mourners at funerals to 30. Only essential services such as supermarkets, pharmacies and banks were allowed to remain open.
While bottle stores, bars and other leisure centres were banned from operating leaving, before Friday only supermarkets to sell alcohol during the lockdown, the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Cde Ziyambi Ziyambi explained on Friday that Statutory Instrument (SI) 10 of 2021 means that even supermarkets are not supposed to sell alcohol. The only places allowed to sell alcohol are hotels for their residents.
We welcome such a move as from close observations before, it was evidently clear that drinking spots had also become super spreaders of the deadly pandemic. It has been at these drinking spots that there was wanton disregard of social distancing with some revellers having the propensity of not even wearing masks at all in the process contributing to the high numbers of community transmissions.
When a nation is at war with such a debilitating virus, it only makes sense that it should remain sober. While we understand that consumption of alcohol by some is a matter of life and death as well as a business that puts food on the table for others, this virus needs that we sacrifice for it to recede.
Also heavy use of alcohol is not recommended as the wise waters as some prefer to call it are likely to alter one’s thoughts, decision-making, behaviour and judgment.
Drinkers should live with the fact that alcohol will not give one any kind of protection against Covid-19 but there are high chances of it contributing to the compromising of the immune system.