‘Third Covid-19 Wave Anticipated This Winter’

Main Story Zimbabwe

Mirirai Nsingo

A third Covid-19 wave is likely to hit Zimbabwe this winter as temperatures become conducive for airborne diseases, Harare’s Health Director, Dr Prosper Chonzi, has said.

Dr Chonzi posted on Facebook on Tuesday that cases were increasing and could further escalate in cold weather.

“As we approach winter, we should anticipate a third wave. Covid-19 is still with us; we are still having cases in our facilities, cases are being reported in schools.

“It might seem as if this is over, life is normal but the worst is not over yet.”

Dr Chonzi warned against complacency.

“Yes, we have been recording less cases but this does not mean that we are out of harm’s way. We cannot afford to let the guard down yet. We need to take all the necessary precautions to reduce infections.

“This is a war we have to win and will live to tell the story years later. People who are eligible for vaccination should get the vaccine. This can save lives.”

Zimbabwe recorded its first Covid-19 case in March 2020, and authorities introduced lockdown to curtail the disease’s spread.

The situation seemed to have stabilised by late November, but a second wave saw figures surge between December 2020 and February 2021.

Again, cases plummeted, and authorities rolled out a vaccination programme targeting 60 percent herd immunity.

However, statistics over the weeks point to resurgence of more infections, with cases recorded in boarding schools.

Primary and Secondary Education Ministry spokesperson Taungana Ndoro told ZTN on Tuesday: “We have intensified measures in schools so that infections are minimised. Cases have been recorded in schools but this is just a small percentage and not reflective of the situation in (all) schools.

“We are working with the Ministry of Health and Child Care and partners to do everything possible to contain cases.”