December 21, 2020

New Covid-19 variant: Should Zimbabwe’s borders remain open?

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Munashe Mukahlera

With South Africa recording cases of a new potent Covid-19 strain, are Zimbabweans safe? National Covid-19 response chief coordinator in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Dr. Agnes Mahomva told ZTN news that although government has put in place measures to manage the spread of the virus, Zimbabwe remains at risk as long as borders remain open.

“We are very aware of what’s happening elsewhere in South Africa and the UK with new strains that they are identifying. Our scientists are actually also analyzing and looking at the strain that we have in Zimbabwe to be able to tell whether the one in South Africa is already here, what’s happening, and how we can then modify our response accordingly.

We are very aware that we are not living in isolation. As long as our borders are open with South Africa and other places, the chances of getting those kinds of strains are very real,” Dr Mahomva said.

Meanwhile, revellers have been defying Covid-19 prevention guidelines. Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage minister, Kazembe Kazembe says people should observe social distancing and not wait for the police to tell them to wear masks.

“Why do we people want to wait for the police to tell us how to save our lives? Why should it be a police issue? We should act responsibly. You cannot expect a police officer to come and tell you how to save your life? It’s your life that is supposed to be saved. Citizens should not wait for the police to police them to wear masks, sanitise and to practice social distancing,” he said.

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